At Least 100 Cops Dead in Mosque Suicide Bombing

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At least 100 people were killed, and hundreds were injured on Monday, January 30, after a suicide bomber detonated a bomb inside a mosque in a security compound in Pakistan, which only police officers and security personnel can access.

The suicide bomber got through several security checks manned by officers to get into the “red zone,” a compound that houses the country’s counter-terrorism and police offices in Peshawar, a volatile city in the northwest of Pakistan.

According to Peshawar’s Police Chief Ijaz Khan, the mosque was fully packed with more than 300 worshippers, and the explosion left about 225 people wounded, with most in critical condition.

At least 100 people have died after succumbing to their wounds; most of them were police personnel.

Sarbakaf Mohmand, a commander for the Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and another member of the TTP, Mukaram Khorasani, claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter. They said the attack was revenge for the killing of the group’s commander in Afghanistan in August 2022.

A TTP spokesperson, Muhammad Khorasani, however, denied responsibility for the bombing. 

According to officials, the bomber detonated the deadly weapon while the worshippers lined up to pray.

Police Chief Khan told reporters that they had found traces of explosives and that it was clear that a security lapse had occurred because the attacker slipped through what the country considered the most secure area in the compound.

Investigations into how the attacker breached the security cordon are underway, with officials investigating whether the bomber had inside help.

The incident is the worst attack in Peshawar since the March 2022 attack in a Shi’ite Muslim mosque by the Islamic state that left at least 58 people dead.

Peshawar is a city on the edge of Pakistan and borders Afghanistan, which the Taliban now control. Militant groups, including the Pakistan Taliban and the Islamic state, have frequently targeted the city.

Videos shared on social media showed that half of the mosque’s wall caved in, and the inside was covered in debris and bricks as people climbed over the ruins to escape.

The TTP has been launching attacks in the country for over a decade now, fighting for the government to enforce stricter Islamic laws and reduce military presence in the former tribal regions.

According to Pakistan Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, the attacker was standing in the first row when the bomb went off.

An officer who survived the attack told reporters that as the prayer leader chanted “Allahu Akbar” or “Allah is Great,” the bomb detonated.

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