Eight students killed, 136 injured in Pakistan religious school blast

Police officers and officials survey the site of a bomb blast at a religious seminary in Peshawar, Pakistan October 27, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 28 October 2020

Eight students killed, 136 injured in Pakistan religious school blast

  • “Unknown people planted explosives in a plastic bag,” police tell media
  • Prime Minister Khan says militants responsible for attack will be “brought to justice asap”

ISLAMABAD: A blast at a religious seminary in Pakistan’s northern city of Peshawar on Tuesday killed at least eight students and injured 136 others, local media and news agencies reported.
“Deeply saddened by terrorist attack on madrassah in Peshawar,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Twitter. “My condolences go to the victims families & prayers for early recovery of the injured. I want to assure my nation we will ensure the terrorists responsible for this cowardly barbaric attack are brought to justice asap.”

“Those who attack children receiving an education have nothing to do with humanity,” information minister Shibli Faraz said in a Twitter statement. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the martyrs and pray for speedy recovery of the injured.”

Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a statement: “The whole nation stands side by side with its armed forces and law enforcement agencies in this war on terror … Inshallah we will eradicate this monster of terrorism.”
The blast took place in a madrassa where "unknown people had planted explosives in a plastic bag,” a police officer told Reuters on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak with media. Children were among the dead, he added.
A spokesman for the Lady Reading Hospital nearby said it had received seven dead and 70 wounded patients, many with burns suffered in the blast. Later, officials confirmed that the number had increased.
Pakistan’s local Dawn newspaper reported that a majority of those injured in the blast at the Jamia Zuberia seminary in Peshawar’s Dir Colony were believed to be children.
“The blast took place in a seminary during a Qur’an class. Someone took a bag inside the seminary. At least four seminary students have been killed and 34 wounded,” Waqar Azim, a senior police official, told AFP.
Mohammad Ali Gandapur, another senior police official, confirmed the blast and details. He said two teachers were among the wounded.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra visited the site of the blast. Speaking to reporters, he said the focus at the moment was on providing the injured the best possible treatment to increase their chances of recovery.


Pakistan becomes founding member of Saudi Digital Cooperation Organization

Updated 57 min 27 sec ago

Pakistan becomes founding member of Saudi Digital Cooperation Organization

  • FM Qureshi praises the kingdom’s ‘farsighted initiative’ while calling for greater international collaboration in the digital domain
  • The new organization has been launched to enhance the growth of digital economy that is currently estimated to be over $11 trillion

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday became one of the founding members of an organization launched by a group of Muslim countries to enhance the growth of digital economy, said an official statement circulated by the foreign office in Islamabad on Thursday.
Envisaged by Saudi Arabia, the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) also includes other Middle Eastern nations like Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
The DCO was launched at a virtual event hosted by the kingdom’s communication minister, Abdullah Al-Swaha.
It was also attended by Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who shared his thoughts with the forum through a video message.
Qureshi lauded the Saudi minister’s “farsighted initiative,” said the statement, and noted that the creation of the organization would cater to the growing need of international cooperation and collaboration in the digital domain.
The Pakistani minister pointed out that the global digital economy was estimated to be worth over $11 trillion and was set to expand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“DCO would offer a platform to promote the global digital agenda in the scientific, health, educational, commercial, social, agricultural, investment and security spheres,” he said.
The foreign minister, who also chairs a dedicated digital diplomacy working group of leading IT experts in his country, added that information revolution presented a unique opportunity to deal with the development deficit in Pakistan through its skilled human resource that could also make significant contributions globally.