Peshawar death toll mounts to 100


The rescue operation to retrieve bodies from the debris of the mosque concluded on Tuesday…reports Asian Lite News

The death toll in the Peshawar’s Police Lines mosque blast has risen to 100 as the rescue operation to retrieve bodies from the debris of the mosque concluded on Tuesday, Geo News reported.

The toll of injured has reached at least 221. According to Mohammad Asim, the spokesperson for the primary medical facility, Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, approximately 100 bodies have been taken into the facility and 53 patients are being treated, as per Geo News.

A suicide bomber blew himself up in the mosque – a heavily guarded police facility at about 1 pm on Monday during Zohr prayers, forcing the roof to collapse on those praying at the time.

The caretaker CM revealed that an inquiry committee had been constituted to identify those responsible for this act.

Geo News reported citing Rescue 1122’s spokesperson who stated that the rescue operation to retrieve bodies from the debris of the mosque has finally concluded.

Speaking during a press conference alongside KP CM Azam Khan, Inspector-General Moazzam Jah Ansari said that about 10-12 kilograms of explosives were used in the blast. He said that there has been a security lapse and investigations are underway to ascertain the facts, Geo News reported.

“We are checking one-month’s CCTV footage and tracking the facilitators of the bomber,” he added.

According to security officials, the suicide attacker was present in the front row during the prayers when he blew himself up. The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier today, India condoled the loss of lives in the deadly terror attack that shook Peshawar.

Taking to Twitter, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi wrote, “India extends its deep condolences to the families of the victims of the terror attack in Peshawar yesterday. We strongly condemn this attack, which has taken the lives of so many people.”

Pak interior minister admits mistake

Days after Pakistan witnessed a deadly attack on its security forces inside a Peshawar mosque, the country’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah admitted inside the National Assembly that it was a collective mistake to prepare the mujahideen to go to war with a global force.

“We did not need to make Mujahideen. We created Mujahideen and then they became terrorists,” Sanaullah said while addressing the country’s upper house of Parliament on Tuesday. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also speaking in the National Assembly said that the country’s National Security Committee will decide on the operation against terrorists.

The Interior Minister also claimed that former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had released members of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or Pakistani Taliban who were serving death sentences.

Pakistan’s Interior Minister admitted the belief that the TTP, formally called the Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan, is an umbrella organization of various Islamist armed militant groups operating along the Afghan-Pakistani border would lay down their arms and submit to the law was mistaken, as per Geo News.

Inside Pakistan’s National Assembly, there was a heated debate yesterday with members demanding major reforms to eradicate terror.

After the Peshawar mosque blast, a faction of the TTP claimed responsibility for the attack but hours later a TTP spokesperson tweeted distancing itself from the claim and said their policy does not include targeting mosques.

Since November last year terror attacks across Pakistan have been increasing after a peace deal between the TTP and the Pakistan government was called off by the proscribed group. The TTP was formed in the year 2007 by banding together of several armed groups who protested against Pakistan’s cooperation with the US in its war on terrorism. The TTP supported the Afghan Taliban’s fight against the US and The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Yesterday, in the National Assembly Pakistan Interior Minister Sanaullah stressed that it was incorrect to think that the TTP was separate from the Afghan Taliban. He said that the prior policy to resettle the Taliban could not bear fruit and led to the current situation in Pakistan.

The Pakistan federal minister said that the incumbent government has changed its approach towards the Taliban. He condemned the terrorist attack in the mosque in Peshawar’s Police Lines and said that the suicide bomber aimed to target police personnel, Geo News reported.

Furthermore, Sanaullah said that outlawed TTP terrorists have found safe havens in a neighbouring country. He stressed that the development comes despite Afghan Taliban making an agreement with Pakistan and the international community that they would not permit their land to be used against any other nation, according to Geo News. He highlighted the need to hold talks with Afghanistan in order to stop terrorists from having safe shelters.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also speaking in the National Assembly blamed Afghan refugees for the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan.

He said that in the last 1.5 years around 4.5 lakh Afghans had entered Pakistan with valid documents but have not returned to Afghanistan. “Who is the terrorist among them, I cannot say anything about it,” he said.

“When we were having a shortage of dollars, a truckload of dollars was sent to Afghanistan. We use to buy coal from them, they took Pakistani Rupees and bought dollars from here only and dollars sky-rocketed in Pakistan,” he added. (ANI)

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