Death Toll in Taliban Suicide Attack at Mosque in Pakistan's Peshawar Rises to 61, Over 150 Injured
A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque packed with worshippers during afternoon prayers on Monday in Pakistan's Peshawar city.
New Delhi: The death toll in a Taliban suicide attack at a mosque in the high-security zone in Pakistan's restive northwestern Peshawar city mounted to 61 on Monday (January 30, 2023). The bomber who blew himself up in a mosque packed with worshippers during afternoon prayers on Monday also wounded more than 150 people, mostly policemen.
According to officials, 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.
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 slain TTP commander Umar Khalid Khurasani who was killed in Afghanistan last year.
The group is said to be close to al-Qaeda and has been blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases, and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.
In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban had also stormed the Army Public School (APS) in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least 150 people, including 131 students.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack, saying the attackers behind the incident "have nothing to do with Islam".
"Terrorists want to create fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending Pakistan," he said and vowed that the sacrifices of the blast victims will not go in vain.
"The entire nation is standing united against the menace of terrorism," he added.
Sharif also stated that a comprehensive strategy will be adopted to counter the deteriorating law and order situation in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the federal government will help provinces in increasing their anti-terrorism capacity.
The Prime Minister and Army chief General Asim Munir rushed to Peshawar to review the relief and rescue operation.
The premier along with the Army chief also visited the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar and inquired about the health of the injured.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and other officials were also present.
The Prime Minister summoned an emergency meeting where the preliminary probe report was presented.