A huge blast caused by an explosive device which detonated inside a madrassa in Peshawar’s Dir Colony on Tuesday left seven people dead and over 123 injured. As per a police report, around 40-50 children were present inside the madrassa at the time the bomb went off. It was added by the seminary’s administration that around 1,100 students study at the institution and students between the ages of 22 and 28 were present in the class at the time of the explosion.
SP City Peshawar Waqar Azeem told a leading Pakistani daily that an unidentified man entered the madrassa around 8am and left a suspicious school bag on the premises. He said the bag is believed to have had an IED device that went off when the children started filling in the seminary. The attack is similar to many that the province has seen in the past. Following the attack, a number of celebrities and public figures took to social media to express their grief over the incident and the lives lost.
Farhan Saeed was among the first few to speak about the attack. “At a loss of words. May the martyrs of the #DirColony tragedy rest in eternal peace. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured,” he wrote.
At a loss of words!
— Farhan Saeed (@farhan_saeed) October 27, 2020
Actor Humayun Saeed was also at a loss for words when news of the attack broke out. “Deeply saddened to learn about the terrorist attack in a Peshawar madrassa,” he said. “My mind is numb at the thought of our children bleeding again, an unfathomable loss for the families. Lots and lots of prayers for the victims. May Allah protect us from all evil,” he concluded.
Deeply saddened to learn about the terrorist attack in Peshawar madrassa. Mind is numb at the thought of our children bleeding again. Unfathomable loss for the families… Lots and lots of prayers for the victims. May Allah protect us from all evil.
— Humayun Saeed (@iamhumayunsaeed) October 27, 2020
Ali Zafar recalled how this incident brought back the horrific memories from the APS attack in 2014. “I’m deeply saddened by the terrorist attack on the madrassa in Peshawar. It brings back some haunting memories from the Peshawar school attack. None of this should be forgotten,” he shared.
— Ali Zafar (@AliZafarsays) October 27, 2020
Salman Ahmed noted that “#Peshawar blast is a sad reminder that those cowards who hide in the dark to stalk innocent Pakistanis are completely aligned with the forces which create instability & chaos. They will not succeed.”
#Peshawar blast is a sad reminder that those cowards who hide in the dark to stalk innocent Pakistanis are completely aligned with the forces which create instability & chaos. They will not succeed.
— salman ahmad (@sufisal) October 27, 2020
Meanwhile, singer and songwriter Fakhr-e-Alam deemed the incident another ‘cowardly’ attempt at destabilising the country. “Cowardly terrorist attack on children this morning in Peshawar. There is a clear strategy to destabilise Pakistan,” he penned.
Cowardly terrorist attack on children this morning in Peshawar. There is a clear strategy to destabilize Pakistan. It’s a multi tier co ordinated effort by both external & internal cowards. But the nation stands resolute & our resolve for peace & progress will not be stopped.
— Fakhr-e-Alam (@falamb3) October 27, 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan too took to the microblogging site to condole the lives lost in the attack while sending prayers for those injured in the attack.
“Deeply saddened by terrorist attack on madrassah in Peshawar. 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.”
Deeply saddened by terrorist attack on madrassah in Peshawar. 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
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 27, 2020
Here’s what other social media users had to say:
— Insta @Faizanriaz_ (@departed__soul) October 27, 2020
It’s not a terrorist attack. It is a statement, and a trigger with a well defined pattern.
Terrorist attacks don’t just ‘happen’. They are planned, sponsored & most importantly strategically timed to achieve a discursive & political objective. #Peshawarblast
— Hussain Nadim (@HNadim87) October 27, 2020
When Pakistan continues to grow with a strong economic policy, terrorism kicks in. We will never be defeated. Be strong. I'm sorry for those who died. I wish my condolences. We are with you. #Peshawarblast 🇹🇷🇵🇰
— Ali Keskin (@alikeskin_tr) October 27, 2020
Its Heart breaking💔
— Sana Javed (@SanaaJavid) October 27, 2020
Further, sources at a Peshawar hospital stated that out of the total injured who were brought in, 50 were children. The hospital’s director, Tariq Burki, also said four of the dead were also children.