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Pakistan mosque blast updates: Dozens killed in suicide bombing

Neelam Rahim / neelam@radioislam.co.za

2 min read
31 January 2023 / 21:36 pm CAT

Photo Credit: Al-Jazeera

Photo Credit: Al-Jazeera

Distraught relatives have stormed hospitals in Pakistan’s Peshawar for their kin, a day after a suicide bombing ripped through a crowded mosque inside a highly fortified compound that includes the headquarters of the local police force and a counterterrorism department.

The attack in the police lines districts was the deadliest in a decade to hit the north-western city near the Afghan border and came amid a surge in violence against the police.

In an interview with Radio Islam International, Research Analyst from Islamabad, Pakistan, Taimur Khan, said the police report stated that the suicide bomber had crossed through all the city’s security checkpoints, reaching the first row inside the Masjid, centring police lines.

The attacker blew himself up among the worshippers when the Imam recited Takbeer, detonating 12 kilograms of explosives and causing the two-story Masjid to collapse, resulting in more than a hundred deaths, mostly police officers.

According to Khan, the emergency services of the Peshawar District have completed evacuating bodies from the rubble and removing the debris from the bombsight. However, many people are critically injured, and the death toll is expected to rise.

Meanwhile, Sarbakaf Mohmand, a commander for the Pakistan Taliban (Tehreek-e-Taliban, or TTP), initially claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter.

But hours later, TTP spokesperson Mohammad Khurasani distanced the group from the bombing, saying it was not its policy to target mosques, seminaries and religious places.

The Prime Minister had ordered a thorough investigation of the report.

Listen to the interview with Annisa Essack and Taimur Khan on Radio Islam’s podcast.

 

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