Peshawar blast, Pakistan: Death toll rises to at least 100 in suspected mosque suicide bombing

Islamabad, Pakistan

The dying toll of a suicide bombing The dying toll that destroyed a mosque in Peshawar, northwest Pakistan, rose to at the very least 100 on Tuesday, in one of many deadliest assaults within the nation in years because it faces what one analyst referred to as a “nationwide safety disaster”.

At the very least 100 folks died after Monday’s blast at a mosque in a police compound, mentioned Mohammad Asim Khan, a spokesperson for the Woman Studying Hospital within the metropolis.

The Inspector Basic of Peshawar Police Moazzam Jah Ansari mentioned the police suspect that 12 kilograms of explosives had been utilized by a suicide bomber. Ansari added that the assault resulted within the damage of 217 folks.

The police official, Nasrullah Khan, who survived the blast, mentioned he recalled seeing a “big explosion of flames” earlier than being surrounded by a column of black mud.

Khan mentioned his leg was damaged within the blast and he was caught within the rubble for 3 hours.

“The roof has fallen off… The house between the roof and the wall is the place I used to be in a position to survive,” he mentioned.

In the meantime, hope was fading within the seek for survivors as rescue employees sifted via the rubble of the mosque, which was fully destroyed on Monday, when worshipers — largely regulation enforcement officers — gathered for night prayers.

Footage and movies present the partitions of the mosque lowered to shrapnel, with glass home windows and panes destroyed within the highly effective blast.

“We’re not anticipating to search out anybody alive. A lot of the our bodies are being recovered,” Bilal Faizi, the rescue spokesman, mentioned on Tuesday.

Volunteers carry the coffin of a man killed in a suicide bombing in Peshawar on Monday.

Monday’s blast is the most recent indication of the deteriorating safety scenario in Peshawar, the capital of the unstable Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan and the location of frequent assaults by the Pakistani Taliban, often known as Tehreek-e-Taliban.

The TTT Motion is a delegated international terrorist group by the USA and operates in each Afghanistan And Pakistan.

Final yr, the collapse of an already shaky year-old ceasefire between the Pakistani Taliban and the Pakistani authorities not solely escalated violence in that nation, however might additionally heighten cross-border tensions between the Afghan and Pakistani governments.

Initially on Monday, TTP officers Sarbakaf Mohmand and Umar Makram Khorasani claimed that the blast was “retaliation” for the killing of TTP militant Khalid Khorasani final yr.

Nonetheless, the primary spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban later denied that the group was concerned within the assault.

“Concerning the Peshawar incident, we think about it essential to make clear that the TTP has nothing to do with this incident,” TTP spokesman Mohammad Khorasani mentioned in an announcement late Monday. “Based on our legal guidelines and our common structure, any work in mosques, spiritual faculties, funerals and different holy locations is against the law.”

Pakistani authorities say an investigation is ongoing and haven’t confirmed both declare.

Pakistan’s Military Chief of Employees Basic Asim Munir condemned the assault and mentioned the perpetrators could be delivered to justice.

Munir urged the commanders to concentrate on counter-terrorism operations and work with intelligence and regulation enforcement businesses throughout the nation with “renewed resolve,” in line with an announcement from the Pakistani navy. He mentioned that this coordination will proceed till a “sustainable peace” is achieved.

Peshawar Police Chief Mohammad Ijaz Khan mentioned on Monday that the blast contained in the Police Traces mosque “might need been a suicide assault,” echoing an announcement by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

“The brutal killing of Muslims who prostrate themselves earlier than God is opposite to the teachings of the Qur’an,” Sharif mentioned, including that “focusing on the Home of God is proof that the attackers don’t have anything to do with Islam.”

Securitymen and rescue workers search for victims amid the wreckage of the destroyed mosque on Tuesday.

Soldiers and police officers clear the way for ambulances rushing towards the site of the blast on Monday.

Rights teams condemned the lethal assault, which raised fears of renewed violence amid the deteriorating safety scenario within the nation.

The Human Rights Fee of Pakistan mentioned in an announcement on Monday that the assault might have been averted if “the state had heeded earlier warnings from civil society about extremist teams within the province”.

“Poorly geared up regulation enforcement personnel proceed to be focused in incidents leading to huge lack of civilian and police lives. We name on the state to behave now,” the assertion mentioned.

Madiha Afzal, a international coverage fellow on the Brookings Establishment in Washington, mentioned the Taliban’s 2021 takeover of Afghanistan “emboldened” the TTP and different terrorist teams.

Rescue workers carry out an operation to clear debris and search for bodies at the site of the explosion on Tuesday.

“The TTP has additionally been inspired by the Pakistani state which has had a shaky and unsure response to the group previously two years,” she mentioned, including that “the sloppy coverage in the direction of terrorist teams has been pretty constant throughout governments in Pakistan because the mid-2000s.” Twenty.”

She added that negotiations with the militants “failed repeatedly as a result of these teams existentially oppose the Pakistani state and the structure.”

That is now a nationwide safety disaster for Pakistan once more. The answer have to be a coordinated navy operation (in opposition to the Pakistani Taliban), she mentioned. However now the matter is sophisticated by the truth that the Pakistani Taliban can cross the border into Afghanistan which is managed by the Taliban.

The assault additionally comes at a essential time for Pakistan, which is grappling with a cost-of-living disaster as meals and gas shortages wreak havoc on the nation of 220 million folks.

Sharif’s authorities has struggled to revive the nation’s economic system, which was devastated by lethal floods final yr that killed greater than 1,500 folks and submerged complete villages.

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