Blast at Peshawar religious school kills 7 people, more than 70 injured

A powerful bomb blast at a religious school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar has resulted in the death of seven people and wounded at least 70 others, police, and health officials say.

According to Peshawar’s superintendent of police Waqar Azeem, the blast occurred during the morning’s first lecture. Rescue services and a bomb disposal squad are on site. The cause of the explosion was an IED with 5-6 kilograms of explosives used in an abandoned bag at the religious seminary Jamia Zubairia madrassa.

Speaking to local television station Geo News, the provincial police’s bomb disposal unit chief Shafqat Malik said the device was sophisticated in design and involved a timed detonation.

“The forensic evidence that we have picked up, shows that it was about 5kg [11 pounds] of explosives and it was a timed device,” said Malik.

“It seems to be a high-quality device, which appears to use TNT. There has been a lot of damage, and this [attack] has been planned with great thought.”

Television footage from the scene of the blast showed significant damage to the interior of the mosque’s main prayer hall, with pockmarks dotting the ceiling and debris strewn across the floor.