Rescue workers carry the remains of the blast victims from the debris of a damaged mosque after a blast inside the police headquarters in Peshawar on January 30, 2023. - A blast at a mosque inside a police headquarters in Pakistan on January 30 killed at least 25 worshippers and wounded 120 more, officials said. (Photo by Abdul MAJEED / AFP)
The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres and other top officials, have strongly condemned the suicide bombing at a mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan on Monday, that left at least 59 dead and 150 injured.
According to reports, a militant group had claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred at the crowded mosque.
Reports showed that the bombing caused the roof to collapse on top of worshipers inside.
“It is particularly abhorrent that the attack occurred at a place of worship,” Guterres said in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Stephanie Dujarric.
“Freedom of religion or belief, including the ability to worship in peace and security, is a universal human right.”
Extending his condolences to the victims’ families and wishes for a prompt recovery to those injured, Guterres reiterated the solidarity of the United Nations with the government and people of Pakistan in their efforts to address terrorism and violent extremism.
Also condemning the attack, the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Angel Moratinos, emphasized that all forms of violence and acts of terror against civilians and religious sites on account of their religion or belief, are intolerable and unjustifiable and should be unequivocally condemned.
“Houses of worship are sacred places where worshipers should be able to practice and declare their faith safely and freely,” he said, also expressing deep concern at the overall rise in instances of discrimination, intolerance and all acts of violence directed against members of any religion or other communities.
This includes incidents motivated by Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and prejudices against persons of other religions, beliefs, gender or race.
Calling for mutual respect for all religions and faiths and for fostering a culture of fraternity and peace, he asked governments and other stakeholders to support the UN Plan of Action to safeguard religious sites, which had been developed by the alliance, at the request of the secretary-general.