A suicide bomber targets the police in an assault on a mosque in Pakistan, killing dozens

A suicide bombing at a crowded mosque within the Pakistani metropolis of Peshawar killed a minimum of 33 folks, most of them cops, on Monday, within the newest assault focusing on police on this northwest metropolis the place Islamist militants are nonetheless energetic.

The bombing sparked nationwide condemnation by Pakistani opposition political events and authorities officers. Ghulam Ali, the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital, stated there have been fears the loss of life toll might rise even additional.

Many of the victims had been policemen and cops – the focused mosque is positioned inside a sprawling compound, which additionally serves as town’s police headquarters. Police stated between 300 and 350 worshipers had been contained in the mosque when the suicide bomber detonated his explosives.

Sarbakaf Mohmand, one of many leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed accountability for the assault on Twitter. It was not attainable to acquire remark from the principle spokesperson for the group.

The police compound is positioned in a excessive safety space of ​​Peshawar, together with a number of authorities buildings, and it’s not clear how the bomber managed to penetrate so deeply into the world with out being observed.

Native police officer Zafar Khan stated the blast induced the roof of the mosque to break down, collapsing and injuring many.

The assault passed off throughout afternoon prayers within the provincial capital, Peshawar, close to the previous tribal areas bordering Afghanistan the place militancy is on the rise.

A frantic rescue mission was underway on the mosque, which had a whole wall and a few of its roof shattered by the blast.

Estimating between 300 and 400 officers within the mosque, Peshawar Police Chief Mohammad Ijaz Khan stated that “a number of policemen had been buried below the rubble”.

“Efforts are being made to get them out safely,” he stated.

Bloody survivors limped out of the wreckage, whereas our bodies had been eliminated in ambulances because the rescue operation continued.

Violence escalated with the tip of the ceasefire, and Pakistan has seen a surge in militant assaults since November when the Pakistani Taliban ended the ceasefire with authorities forces.

The truce ended as Pakistan was nonetheless going through unprecedented floods final summer season that killed 1,739 folks, destroyed greater than two million houses and at one level submerged as much as a 3rd of the nation. Flood injury totaled greater than $30 billion, and authorities at the moment are, months later, nonetheless struggling to rearrange tents, shelter, and meals for survivors.

Money-strapped Pakistan is presently going through certainly one of its worst financial crises and is searching for a vital $1.1 billion installment from the Worldwide Financial Fund – a part of its $6 billion bailout package deal – to keep away from default. Talks with the Worldwide Financial Fund about reviving the bailout have stalled in latest months.

Sharif’s authorities got here to energy final April after ousting Imran Khan in a vote of no confidence in parliament. Khan has since campaigned for snap elections, claiming his ouster was unlawful and a part of a US-backed conspiracy. Washington and Sharif rejected Khan’s allegations.

The extreme safety breach got here on the day that UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was scheduled to go to Islamabad, though the flight was canceled on the final minute resulting from unhealthy climate.

( Jowharwith AFP, The Related Press and Reuters)

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