Wed, Mar

Pakistani Taliban Claim Responsibility For Deadly Mosque Explosion That Killed 48 Worshippers

Middle East & Asia News

The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for a deadly blast in a mosque in Peshawar on Monday, the latest attack on the city northwest Pakistan. The powerful explosion killed at least 48 people and left about 157 injured. The blast, caused by a suicide bomber who blew himself inside the fully packed mosque devastated that high-security zone. Many of the worshippers included police, army and bomb disposal squad who were offering the Zuhr (afternoon) prayers. The impact of the explosion collapsed the roof and one wall of the mosque and injured many people, said Zafar Khan, a local police officer. Witnesses said the blast took place in the main hall just as afternoon prayers were about to begin and worshippers were packed tightly inside. According to officials, the bomber had been standing in the front row.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Army chief General Asim Munir rushed to Peshawar to review the relief and rescue operation.

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

She said that "all relevant institutions have been directed to attend the meeting" which will "look into the motives behind the terrorist attack".

The preliminary probe report would be presented in the meeting.

The headquarters of the Peshawar Police, Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Frontier Reserve Police (FRP), Elite Force and telecommunications department are also located near the blast site.

The group have recently intensified their militancy after a ceasefire with the government broke down in November. They have claimed responsibility for almost a dozen attacks in recent months, mostly targeting military and police in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which borders Afghanistan