A powerful bomb blast ripped through an Islamic seminary on the outskirts of the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday morning.At the time of bombing religious scholar Rahimullah Haqqani was explaining verses from the Quran. 8 students were killed and 136 wounded, several in critical condition. The students were in their mid-20s but there were children among the injured. Officials said an improvised-explosive device was most likely used in the blast. Police said at least 11 pounds of explosives were used in the attack. Lady Reading Hospital authorities feared the death toll could climb further. No group has claimed immediate responsibility.
The attack comes days after Pakistani intelligence alerted that militants could target public places and important buildings, including seminaries and mosques across Pakistan, including Peshawar. This is the deadliest attack on civilians this year since the Pakistan stock exchange shooting in Karachi in June. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Twitter he was “deeply saddened” by the news. ” I want to assure my nation we will ensure the terrorists responsible for this cowardly barbaric attack are brought to justice asap.” Television footage showed a scene of devastation at the site of the blast. Peshawar was for years the scene of regular terror attacks by the Pakistani Taliban but it had an extended period of relative calm. The Pakistani Taliban later on Tuesday released a statement denying its involvement in the attack.