On Tuesday morning, a powerful bomb blast tore through an Islamic seminary on the outskirts of the northwestern Pakistani town of Peshawar, killing at least eight students and injuring 136 others.
The bombing occurred as a famous religious scholar delivered a lecture on the teachings of Islam at the main hall of the Jamia Zubairia madrassa during a special session, said police officer Waqar Azim.
According to him, Initial investigations say that the bomb went off minutes after someone left a bag in the madrassa.
Several of the injured students were in critical condition, and the death toll could rise higher, hospital officials feared.
Authorities confirmed that several seminary teachers and staff were injured in the bombing as well.
Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan condemned the bombing and asked the authorities to provide the victims with the best medical assistance possible.
“I want to assure my nation that the terrorists responsible for this cowardly, barbaric attack will be brought to justice,” Khan said.
The bombing drew condemnation from the opposition party of the country, which held rallies meant to force the government of Khan to quit.
A wounded student, Mohammad Saqib, 24, said from his hospital bed that religious scholar Rahimullah Haqqani was explaining the Qur’anic verses when they suddenly heard a deafening sound and then shouted and saw blood-stained students crying for help.