At least 30 people were killed and 56 wounded in a huge blast at a Shiite mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, a hospital official said on Friday.
The blast in the Kocha Risaldar area of Peshawar – around 190km (120 miles) west of the capital Islamabad – happened moments before Friday prayers, witnesses said.
“I saw a man firing at two policemen before he entered the mosque. Seconds later I heard a big bang,” said Zahid Khan.
It comes on the first day of a cricket Test match in Rawalpindi between Pakistan and Australia, who haven’t toured the country in nearly a quarter of a century because of security concerns.
Muhammad Asim Khan, a spokesman for Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, confirmed the death toll of 30 and said hospitals have declared an emergency.
The explosion blew out the windows of nearby buildings, and frantic rescuers were seen ferrying the dead and wounded from the scene.