100 dead after suicide attack at a mosque in Pakistan
The number of fatalities from the suicide attack reached at least 100 on Tuesday when rescuers found more victims within the rubble of the destroyed mosque inside a significant police complex in Peshawar, Pakistan's northwest.
The ceiling collapsed over the worshipers on Monday during the Zuhr (afternoon) prayers, according to security authorities who claim that the suicide bomber who was sitting in the first row at the time of the attack blew himself up.
Mohammad Asim, a spokesman at Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), said that 100 corpses had been delivered to the hospital.
Asim said that seven people had been brought to the critical care unit and 53 injuries were presently being treated (ICU). Most of the wounded, according to him, were not in any danger.
Mostly, police officers were the victims. The mosque's imam, Maulana Sahibzada Noorul Amin, five sub-inspectors, and at least one deputy superintendent of police were also killed.
The suicide assault was carried out, according to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban, as part of a retaliation strike for the death of TTP leader Umar Khalid Khurasani in Afghanistan in August of last year.
The Lady Reading hospital received more than 200 wounded patients, according to the Police Control Room Peshawar.
Ejaz Khan, a Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) in Peshawar, revealed to Geo TV that the suspected suicide bomber's head had been found at the explosion scene.
Mohammed Ayaz, a 37-year-old Mohmand agency resident and Salim Khan's son, was named as the alleged bomber.
He said that it was conceivable the assailant had already entered the police lines prior to the explosion and may have done so using an official vehicle. He said, "(The) CTD is looking into the matter.
Many police officers, he said, remain buried beneath the debris.
"At the Zuhr hour, around 300–400 police officers often conduct prayer. It is a security breach if an explosion occurs within police lines, but more information may be revealed by an inquiry "added he.
Inside the police lines, where there were four levels of protection, the bomber penetrated the well guarded mosque.
Moazzam Jah Ansari, the head of the provincial police, said that they are looking into the explosion and the bomber's entrance into the heavily guarded mosque in the Police Lines neighborhood.
He stated his concerns that the bomber could have been living in the police lines prior to the explosion since there are also family quarters there.
Ansari confessed serious police security failings and ordered a thorough probe into the explosion.
Speaking to the media here on Tuesday, he said that only the main gate of the police lines was subject to the search procedure for entry.
He said that the explosion utilized 10–12 kg of explosives. Explosives have been moved to police lines since building is now taking place there.
Near the bomb location are the offices of the Peshawar Police, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), the Frontier Reserve Police (FRP), the Elite Force, and the Telecommunications Department.
To investigate the security failings, a high-level investigating committee has been established.
The explosion's preliminary inquiry report has been sent to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Meanwhile, earlier on Tuesday in the Police Lines area, prayers were conducted for the funerals of six officers, among them the deputy superintendent of police.
In the vicinity of Police Lines, communal funeral prayers were given on Monday night for 27 officers.
The incident has been denounced by President Arif Alvi.
"I vehemently condemn the horrifying and cowardly explosion that occurred at the mosque in Peshawar. The criminals will be apprehended and dealt with. Prayers for the wounded and condolences to the families who lost an innocent family member. There must be an end to terrorism "In a tweet, Alvi
The explosion inside the mosque, according to Prime Minister Shehbaz, shows that those responsible for the act had "nothing to do with Islam." "The coalition government would take harsh action against those responsible for the assault, he assured the populace. "These terrorists are seeking to instill fear by attacking those who carry out the job of safeguarding Pakistan.
Imran Khan, the chairman of PTI and a former prime minister, vehemently denounced the terrorist assault on the Peshawar mosque.
63 people were murdered in a similar incident at a Shia mosque in the city's Kocha Risaldar neighborhood last year.
The TTP, which was formed in 2007 as an umbrella organization for a number of militant groups, broke off a cease-fire with the federal government and instructed its militants to carry out terrorist strikes throughout the nation.
Assaults on military installations, the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, and numerous other violent incidents around Pakistan have been attributed to the organization, which is thought to be affiliated with al-Qaeda. In 2009, an attack occurred against the army headquarters.
At least 150 people, including 131 pupils, were killed when the Pakistani Taliban invaded the Army Public School (APS) in the northwest city of Peshawar in 2014. The incident was strongly denounced and sent shockwaves around the globe.