At least 32 people were killed and 147 injured in a suicide bombing at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.
The explosion happened this afternoon during prayer time at a mosque in Peshawar city, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in northwest Pakistan, when about 260 people were inside the building. Pakistani Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif said it was a suicide bombing, but did not mention the perpetrators.
“The terrorist is in the front row,” Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said.
The explosion caused a wall to collapse on the location where many worshipers were gathered. Local health officials said at least 32 people were killed and 147 injured, many of them in critical condition.
The mosque is located in a high-security area where the police headquarters and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial counter-terrorism unit are located. It was the latest attack on security forces in Peshawar and the deadliest bombing in the area since a suicide attack by the Islamic State (IS) militants that killed 58 people. who died in March 2022.
Peshawar is located near the border with Afghanistan, where many Islamist militants have remained active for many years. One of them is Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a banned Islamist armed group that has carried out dozens of deadly attacks that have left hundreds dead in Pakistan since its emergence in 2007.
The TTP is an independent entity from the Taliban group in Afghanistan, but still shares the same ideology. They once controlled parts of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and imposed Islamic law in this area. TTP fighters were pushed from Pakistan to neighboring Afghanistan in 2010, but are slowly reappearing after the Taliban seized power in August 2021.
The group announced in November 2022 that it had canceled a ceasefire with the Pakistani government and ordered the militants to launch attacks across the country.
Vu Anh (Theo Reuters)