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61 killed, 150 injured in Taliban suicide attack at Pakistan mosque Pak mosque attack
Image Credit: Videograb

61 killed, 150 injured in Taliban suicide attack at Pakistan mosque

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 31 Jan 2023, 01:17 am

Peshawar/IBNS: At least 61 people died and 150 others were injured as a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque packed with worshippers in the high-security zone in Peshawar’s Police Lines area in Pakistan on Monday, media reports said. 

The powerful blast occurred inside the mosque in the Police Lines area around 1.40 pm when worshippers, which included personnel of the police, army and bomb disposal squad - were offering the Zuhr (afternoon) prayers.

A section of the mosque was destroyed in the blast.

According to reports, the target of the blast was the policemen.

The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had taken responsibility for the attack, reports Geo News.

Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Peshawar Muhammad Ijaz Khan said 61 people have been killed in the blast.

He said that 300 to 400 police officials were present in the area at the time of the blast. "It is apparent that a security lapse occurred," he told the media.

At least five sub-inspectors and the mosque's prayer leader Maulana Sahibzada Noorul Amin were among the dead.

Lady Reading Hospital officials said more than 150 people were injured.

According to security officials, the suicide attacker was present in the front row during the Zuhr prayer when he exploded himself, injuring dozens of faithful, the Pakistani news channel reported.

Several footage of the blast site has now gone viral on the internet.

Sahibzada Noor Ul Amin, Imam of the mosque, was also killed in the blast, police told Geo News.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has left for Peshawar where he will be briefed on all aspects of the blast, the PM Office said in a statement as quoted by the news channel.

Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan tweeted: " Strongly condemn the terrorist suicide attack in police lines mosque Peshawar during prayers. My prayers & 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."

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, saying it was part of a revenge attack for killed TTP commander Umar Khalid Khurasani who was killed in Afghanistan in August last.

A police official said that a portion of the mosque collapsed and several people were believed to be under 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 said.

The bomber entered the highly secured mosque inside police lines where four layers of security were in place.

 

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