New Delhi: At least seven children died and over 70 others were injured after a massive explosion went off on Tuesday morning near a madrasa (seminary) in Dir Colony of Peshawar, the capital city of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a Pakistani media reported. Also Read - UAE Stops Issuing Fresh Visas to Pakistan, 12 Other Countries Citing Security Concerns

The bomb blast occurred just after the morning prayers. Around 40-50 children were present inside the seminary when the bomb went off. The majority of those wounded are said to be in a critical condition. They were brought to the nearby hospitals and rescue operations are still underway. Also Read - Pakistan PM Rules Out Closing Down Businesses Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases

The seminary’s administration said around 1,100 students study at the institution. Also Read - PM Imran Khan Approves Chemical Castration of Rapists in Pakistan, Law Soon to be Presented in Parliament

A bag filled with an IED device with 4 to 5 kg of explosive materials was kept close to the wall of the seminary by some unknown person which went off,  superintendent of police in Peshawar city Waqar Azeem said.

“The blast took place in a madrassa where unknown people had planted explosives in a plastic bag,” the police told reporters.

Most of the children who died and were injured in the bast were aged between 7-11 years, the official said, adding that many of them were from Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

“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,” he said in a tweet.

There was a general threat alert in the Peshawar district, said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief Sanaullah Abbasi, who also confirmed the death toll.

The area has been cordoned off and police teams are collecting evidence. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack as of yet.