PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A suicide bomber struck Monday inside a mosque within a police compound in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least 28 people and wounding as many as 150 worshippers, most of them policemen, officials said.
The bombing drew nationwide condemnation from opposition political parties and government officials. Ghulam Ali, the provincial governor in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where Peshawar is the capital, said there were fears the death toll could rise even further.
Most of the casualties were police officers, as the targeted mosque is located within a sprawling compound that also serves as the city’s police headquarters. Police said between 300 to 350 worshippers were inside the mosque when the bomber detonated his explosives.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, said Saddique Khan, a senior police official in Peshawar, but the Pakistani Taliban have been blamed in similar suicide attacks in the past.
The police compound is located in a high-security zone in Peshawar, along with several government buildings, and it was unclear how the bomber managed to penetrate so deep inside the zone unnoticed.
The impact of the explosion collapsed the roof of the mosque, which caved in and injured many, according to Zafar Khan, a local police officer.