[Photo: The News]
It was difficult to determine the exact number of casualties, but reports suggested up to 50 people were injured. Several of the wounded were said to be in critical condition.
According to television reports, the bomb exploded outside a mosque where the funeral procession of station house officer Mohibullah was being held.
Several police personnel, including Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Police Operations Fayyaz Sumbal, attending the funeral were killed in the powerful explosion. The bomb went off as senior officers prepared to offer prayers for their colleague.
Police sources told DawnNews that the bomb, which appeared to be a suicide blast, contained between eight to 10 kilograms of explosive material. The injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital and the Combined Military Hospital.
The blast was the second targeted attack on Thursday on police personnel in the provincial capital, which has been under high security the entire day. SHO Mohibullah was shot dead by unknown gunmen earlier this morning in Killi Almo area while he was reportedly taking his family for Eid shopping.
Eyewitnesses said fear and chaos spread among the people attending the funeral following the loud explosion.
“All my colleagues are gone. The DSP, SP, DIG… they’re all gone,” said one emotional eyewitness reduced to tears.
It was unclear how many senior police officials were killed as authorities were yet to determine and disclose the identities of the all the victims.
No militant group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, one of the worst attacks on police personnel in the violence-hit provincial capital.