The police compound is located in a high-security area in Peshawar, along with several government buildings, and it was unclear how the attacker managed to penetrate so deep into the area without being noticed.

More than 300 worshipers were praying in the mosque, and were getting closer, when the attacker detonated his explosive vest. Many were injured when the roof collapsed, according to Zafar Khan, a police officer, and rescuers had to remove piles of rubble to reach worshipers still trapped under the rubble.

Meena Gul, who was at the mosque when the bomb went off, said she doesn’t know how he survived unharmed. The 38-year-old police officer said he heard screaming and shouting after the explosion.

Police officer Siddique Khan said the death toll had risen to at least 47, while more than 150 people were injured. He said the attacker blew himself up while he was among the worshipers.

A nearby hospital registered many of the injured in critical condition, raising fears the death toll could rise.

One survivor, police officer Meena Gul, 38, said he was inside the mosque when the bomb went off. He said that he doesn’t know how he survived unharmed. He could hear screaming and screaming after the bomb went off, Gul said.

An explosion at a mosque inside a Pakistani police headquarters on January 30 killed and injured worshipers, hospital officials said.
An ambulance transports injured victims of the blast outside the police headquarters in Peshawar on Monday.Abdul Majeed / AFP – Getty Images

Rescuers scrambled to try to clear piles of rubble from the mosque grounds and reach worshipers still trapped under the rubble, police said.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a statement condemned the attack and ordered the authorities to ensure the best possible medical treatment for the victims. He also promised «severe action» against those behind the attack.

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan also condemned the attack, calling it a «terrorist suicide attack» in a Twitter post. «My prayers and condolences go out to the families of the victims,» ​​the former prime minister said. «It is imperative that we improve our intelligence collection and properly equip our police forces to combat the growing threat of terrorism.»