Death toll in Peshawar mosque blast rises to 61, TTP claims responsibility

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Pakistan: Death toll in Peshawar mosque blast rises to 61, TTP claims responsibility

People and rescue employees collect to search for survivors underneath a collapsed roof, after a suicide blast in a mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan January 30, 2023. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

The loss of life toll in a blast at a mosque in Pakistan’s Peshawar on Monday has risen to 61, the town’s Lady Reading Hospital stated. At least 150 others had been injured.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the suicide assault.

The blast occurred at a mosque inside a police headquarters round 1.40 pm when worshippers, which included personnel of the police, military and bomb disposal squad – had been providing the Zuhr (afternoon) prayers. The bomber who was current in the entrance row blew himself up, officers stated.

The victims had been largely policemen and safety officers.

Pakistan Taliban claims responsibility

A brother of the slain commander of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Umar Khalid Khurasani claimed that the suicide blast was a part of the revenge assault for his brother who was killed final August in Afghanistan.

The outlawed TTP, referred to as the Pakistani Taliban, has carried out a variety of suicide assaults in the previous, concentrating on safety personnel.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Army chief General Asim Munir rushed to Peshawar to evaluate the aid and rescue operation. The duo additionally visited the Lady Reading Hospital.

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb tweeted that the premier summoned an emergency assembly.

She stated that each one related establishments have been directed to attend the assembly which can look into the motives behind the terrorist assault. The preliminary probe report could be introduced in the assembly.

Superintendent of Police (Investigation), Peshawar, Shazad Kaukab, whose workplace is shut to the mosque, instructed the media that the blast occurred when he simply entered the mosque to provide prayers. He stated he fortunately survived the assault.

A police official stated {that a} portion of the mosque collapsed and several other individuals had been believed to be underneath it.

“We are currently focused on the rescue operation. Our first priority is to safely retrieve the people buried under the debris,” in-charge Rescue operation Bilal Faizi instructed the media.

The headquarters of the Peshawar Police, Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Frontier Reserve Police (FRP), Elite Force and telecommunications division are additionally situated close to the blast website.

The bomber entered the extremely secured mosque inside police traces the place 4 layers of safety had been in place.

Quoting Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Peshawar Muhammad Ijaz Khan, Dawn newspaper stated that a variety of jawans are nonetheless caught underneath the rubble and rescuers try to pull them out.

Khan stated between 300 to 400 police officers had been current in the world on the time of the blast. “It is apparent that a security lapse occurred,” he instructed the media.

Terrorists need to create worry by concentrating on those that carry out the responsibility of defending Pakistan, he stated and vowed that the sacrifices of the blast victims is not going to go in useless. The whole nation is standing united towards the menace of terrorism.” He additionally stated {that a} complete technique will likely be adopted to counter the deteriorating regulation and order scenario in restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the federal authorities will assist provinces in growing their anti-terrorism capability.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari additionally condemned the assault, saying “terrorist incidents before the local and general elections were meaningful”.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali condemned the blast and urged the individuals to donate blood for the injured, saying that it will be a “enormous favour for the police.

The injured had been shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital, officers stated.

An emergency has been declared in the hospitals of Peshawar. The hospital has appealed to residents to donate blood for the victims.

Security beefed up in Islamabad, different cities

Security has been beefed up in different main cities, together with Islamabad, after the Peshawar blast. In Islamabad, safety in any respect entry and exit factors of the capital metropolis has been elevated and snipers have been deployed at “important points and buildings”.

Caretaker CM Azam Khan condemned the assault and supplied condolences to the bereaved households.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the terrorist assault in the mosque.

“My prayers and condolences go to victims’ families. It is imperative we improve our intelligence gathering & properly equip our police forces to combat the growing threat of terrorism,” he tweeted.

Last 12 months, an analogous assault inside a Shia mosque in the Kocha Risaldar space in the town killed 63 individuals.

Blast after TTP ended ceasefire with govt

The TTP, arrange as an umbrella group of a number of terror outfits in 2007, lately known as off a ceasefire with the federal authorities and ordered assaults throughout the nation.

The group, which is believed to be shut to al-Qaeda, has been blamed for a number of lethal assaults throughout Pakistan, together with an assault on military headquarters in 2009, assaults on army bases, and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban stormed the Army Public School (APS) in the northwestern metropolis of Peshawar, killing a minimum of 150 individuals, together with 131 college students. The assault despatched shockwaves internationally and was broadly condemned.

With inputs from companies

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