UPDATE: This story and headline have been updated to include new information and accurately reflect the number of deaths and injuries caused by the bombing.
A suicide bombing at a mosque in a Peshawar, Pakistan, police facility Monday reportedly killed at least 100 people and hurt more than 170 others, according to NBC News.
Pakistani Taliban commander Sarbakaf Mohmand claimed responsibility on Twitter for the attack, the outlet said, with the dead victims mostly being police officers, The Associated Press reported, citing local officials. The bombing occurred as 300 people prayed inside the mosque and others approached, with the building’s roof collapsing as a result. (RELATED: US-Designated Senior Terrorist Exploits Twitter Spaces To Promote Violence)
Mohmand said the attack was revenge for the August killing of Pakistani Taliban leader Omar Khalid Khurasani, who he called Abdul Wali, in Afghanistan, the AP reported. The Pakistani Taliban, or Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, is an ally of the Afghan Taliban.
An anonymous Pakistani security officer told the outlet that Pakistani Taliban leaders located in Afghanistan were orchestrating attacks in Pakistan, regaining operational strength after Pakistani military progress against them.
Surviving police officer Meena Gul reported being inside the mosque when the bomb exploded and hearing cries and screams, unsure how he survived without injury, according to CBS News.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif decried the bombing, promising “stern action” against those responsible, according to the AP. He also called for workers in his Pakistan Muslim League to donate blood for surviving victims.
“Terrorists want to create fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending Pakistan,” Sharif said, CBS News reported. “The entire nation is standing united against the menace of terrorism.”
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