Pakistan 59 dead and 157 injured in mosque attack

Pakistan: 59 dead and 157 injured in mosque attack

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque inside a Pakistani police compound on Monday, causing the roof to collapse, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 150, officials said.

Most of the victims were police officers. It is not clear how the attacker managed to penetrate the walled compound, which houses the police headquarters in Peshawar, a city in the northwest of the country, and is located in a high-security area with other government buildings.

Sarbakaf Mohmand, a Pakistani Taliban commander, claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter. The organization’s main spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

“The sheer scale of the human tragedy is unimaginable. This is nothing but an attack on Pakistan,” Prime Minister Shabaz Shariz tweeted, visiting the compound in Peshawar and pledging “firm action” against those responsible. He offered his condolences to the families of the victims, saying their pain “cannot be described in words.”

Pakistan, with a majority Sunni Muslims, has seen an increase in militant attacks since November, when the Pakistani Taliban ended their ceasefire with government forces.

A few weeks ago, in another attack claimed responsibility by the Pakistani Taliban, a gunman shot and killed two intelligence agents, including the head of the counterterrorism branch of the country’s army-based spy agency, Multi-Service Intelligence. . Security officials said Monday the gunman was located and was killed in a gunfight in the northwest near the Afghan border.

Monday’s attack on the Sunni mosque was one of the deadliest against security forces in recent years.

The militant group, also known as Terik-e-Taliban-Pakistan or TTP, is a separate but affiliated branch of the Afghan Taliban. The TTP has been waging an insurgency in Pakistan for 15 years. It seeks to establish a strict regime of Islamic law in the country, the release of its detained members and a reduction of the Pakistani military presence in the regions of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that it has long held as its base.

More than 300 worshipers were praying at the mosque, with more on the way, when the assailant blew up his explosive vest. Many were injured when the roof collapsed, according to Zafar Kahn, a police officer, and rescuers had to move piles of rubble to reach trapped worshipers.

Meena Gul, who was in the mosque when the bomb went off, said she did not know how she had escaped unscathed. The 38-year-old police officer added that after the detonation she heard screaming and crying.

Mohammad Asim, spokesman for the main government hospital in Peshawar, put the death toll at 59 and 157 others were injured. Police official Siddique Khan said the attacker blew himself up in the midst of worshipers.

Condemnation came from various quarters, including the Saudi embassy in Islamabad, and the US embassy, which said that “the United States stands in solidarity with Pakistan and condemns all forms of terrorism.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the attack “particularly abhorrent” for targeting a religious site, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.