In a tragic incident on Monday, a suicide bomber detonated his vest inside a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, leaving several dead and many injured. 32 people in the vicinity of the bombing have been confirmed to be dead, while more than 150 people are reported to be injured.
Revealed: Details of the Blast Known So Far
The blast took place at around 1:30 PM (Pakistan Standard Time) in Peshawar, a Pakistani city in the northwestern region of the country. It is located near the border Pakistan shares with Afghanistan.
There were around 150 worshippers in the mosque, gathered for afternoon prayers when a man detonated his suicide bomb vest. The suicide bomber was said to have been sitting in the front row, according to witness’ reports.
The mosque is currently covered with debris and rubble. Pillars and walls stand damaged, if not completely caved in by the impact of the blast. People inside the mosque scurried over the bricks and debris to escape at the time of the attack.
Alarmingly, officials say that many of the victims may be buried beneath the rubble and that they must be recovered. A rescue operation is continuing inside the mosque and “more bodies are being taken out,” Peshawar city Deputy Commissioner Shafiullah Khan said.
“Currently our priority is to save people buried under the debris,” Mr Khan added. The capital city of Islamabad has also been put on high alert after the attack. Islamabad Police stated that entrances and exits of public places have been deployed with higher security.
Videos of the blast and its aftermath have been circulating across social media.
The reason for the suicide bomb attack remains unknown. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack and more details await as police officials continue to search for injured and dead victims.
Cause of the Attack
Although responsibility for the attack has not yet been claimed by anyone, Pakistani citizens and police officials speculate that it may have been caused by the Pakistan Taliban.
The Pakistan Taliban, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP is a terrorist organization that is separate from, but a close ally of its neighbouring Afghanistan Taliban.
The TTP has waged an insurgency in Pakistan for more than 15 years now, fighting for stricter enforcement of Islamic law in the country; as well as the release of their members who are in government custody and a reduction of Pakistan’s military presence in the country’s former tribal regions.
Officials in Peshawar suspect that police officers were the target of the attack. Muhammad Ijaz Khan, Peshawar capital city police officer, told local media that 300 to 400 police officials were present in the area at the time of the blast. Many of the injured and dead victims were police officers too.
Prime Minister’s ‘Vow’
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, has travelled to Peshawar to take a look at the site of the attack as well as visit those who have been impacted by the unfortunate incident. He actively condemned the attack, ensured that the victims would receive the best possible healthcare and vowed “stern action” against those who were responsible for it.
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