Death Toll From Suicide Attack On Mosque In Peshawar’s Police Lines Rises To 100

Terrorism in Pakistan

The suicide bombing on the sprawling Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines in Peshawar become some of the deadliest to hit this city.

Headquarters to capital city police and half a dozen different units which include the frontier reserve police, the special protection unit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the counter-terrorism department, the elite force, telecommunication, fast response force, and unique combat unit, its miles no ordinary facility.

With a single access and go-out point, wherein guards ask all traffic for identity and seek their vehicles, it’s miles a thriller how a suicide bomber controlled to sneak in, and that too with explosives.

Investigators are well known,u7 it isn’t always a clean case to solve.

With greater than 2,000 groups of workers running for the various gadgets and a few hundred traffic daily, profiling every person along with reviewing hours of CCTV photos from the lone camera outdoors at the mosque’s front gate and compound, maybe a time-eating and painstaking undertaking.

Peshawar: Family individuals of folks who perished inside the suicide assault at the Police Lines mosque chant slogans in the course of a protest towards militancy, along with social activists, on Wednesday.—AFP

Equally hard is accumulating forensic proof from under the debris of the collapsed roof that precipitated the maximum damage and casualties.

Here are a number of the questions investigators are seeking to solve.

Who turned into the bomber?

A bankruptcy of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) from Moh­mand, which regular obligation for the assault, des­cribed the bomber as 25-12 months-antique Huzaifa — likely an organizational call was given to a person, like Ehsanullah Ehsan.

Police have to date recovered heads from below the rubble, so mutilated that they couldn’t be run through the Nadra database for fine identity. Efforts at the moment are directly to reconstruct the faces and bring identikits.

How did he manipulate to get in?

The high-walled compound is manned by police around the clock. It is hard to get in without being questioned and requesting identification papers. However, in the absence of a single command authority, six to 8 police guards can slightly address the project of looking and setting up the identities of the 2,000-plus group of workers and the masses of traffic that skip those gates each day.

“There turned into a protection lapse,” mentioned the Inspector General of Police, Moazzam Jah.

Senior police officers say that even as there was an alarming and worrying boom in risk alerts of viable militant assaults in a few key districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there has been no unique risk from the intelligence groups concerning the Police Lines compound.

“There turned into a little complacency and the militants took gain of this. We may not have seen [such an attack] had there been greater vigilance,” a police officer admitted.

Was there a facilitator?

It is noticeably likely. While no person has a genuine answer to this question, investigators preserve to pore over hours of video photos and test the non-public profiles of thousands of employees to search for possible suspects.

There also are procedural questions: did the bomber stroll in via the principal gate; did he convey the explosives to him or turned into there a person in the compound that helped him smuggle the explosives in beforehand? Intelligence and police reassert speculate that the bomber couldn’t have pulled off such an audacious project without internal help.

Which institution turned involved?

Interestingly, there are parallels between the modern-day incident and the maximum ugly assault in Peshawar’s history – the bloodbath on the Army Public School (APS) in Dec 2014.

The ugly APS assault turned into additionally accomplished via way of means of a militant institution now no longer formally a part of the outlawed TTP, however, allied to the splintered conglomerate led through Mullah Fazlullah. The scale of the bloody assault at APS turned so surprising that even the maximum violence of the militant institution had selected to distance itself from it.

Soon after Monday’s bombing, TTP’s Mohmand bankruptcy – previously referred to as the Jamaatul Ahrar – claimed obligation for the assault via its social media handles, announcing that it turned accomplished to avenge the loss of life of its leader, Umar Khalid Khurasani – who turned into killed in Afghanistan in Aug 2022 – the fourth such revenge assault to date.

A little later, however, TTP Central issued a denial, insisting it turned into its coverage to assault mosques. Investigators agree with this turned into a distraction, because the militant commander who had regular responsibility for the bombing had most effectively currently been appointed via way of means of TTP Central to move the Zhob Division (Wilayah in militants’ parlance) in Balochistan.

Amaq, an information business enterprise related to the Islamic State, additionally declared its obligation for the assault. Police and investigating groups, however, see the TTP’s fingerprints at the assault. Investigators agree that the militant agencies that shape the TTP revel in operational independence, although their movements are at variance with the organization’s critical coverage guidelines.

The Afghan connection

As federal ministers blamed the Afghanistan-based TTP for the assault, Taliban’s appearing Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi cautioned them to appear inward and prevent blaming its western borders.

“Had terrorism originated from Afghanistan, it might have unfolded to China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran as well,” he stated in a speech on Wednesday.

“Afghanistan isn’t always a center of terrorism. The hassle is inside Pakistan. Pakistani ministers shouldn’t shift blame directly to others and want to minutely inspect the Peshawar bombing,” Muttaqi stated.

What precipitated such a lot of casualties?

Preliminary investigations display the bomber detonated ten to 12 kilograms of explosives, which precipitated many casualties inside the first few rows of the packed mosque. However, the maximum of the fatalities came about due to the trapped shockwave, which precipitated a wall to slip, main to the crumbling of the roof that buried many under.

Police and docs at the Lady Reading Hospital, wherein the lifeless and wounded had been brought, concur that greater than 60 in keeping with cent of the deaths and accidents had been resulting from roofs crashing down on worshipers.

Whither NAP?

There has been an uptick in militant assaults in components of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for over a year, and Peshawar police are seeing regular pressure on their outposts. But existence in the provincial capital had in large part remained regular till the bombing in the high-walled and well-covered police compound.

“We are going through a brand new wave of terror, and we ought to brace for it. This one goes to get bloodier. The militant] management is enjoying [operating from] a sanctuary throughout the border, and there’s not anything we are able to do whatever approximately it.

We want a brand new National Action Plan and a robust, higher, and well-coordinated strategy. The old hints wouldn’t work now,” a protection respectable informed Dawn.

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