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Pakistan: at least 47 dead in an explosion inside a mosque in Peshawar


The explosion occurred at prayer time in an extremely sensitive place in the city, located about fifty kilometers from the

An alleged attack occurred on Monday in a mosque in Peshawar, in northwestern Pakistan.

At least 47 people were killed in the blast, said Lady Reading Hospital, which received the bodies.

More than 150 individuals, mostly police officers, were also injured.

According to a senior government official, Shafiullah Khan, the death toll is expected to rise, with bodies still being pulled from the rubble.

The explosion occurred at prayer time in a mosque located inside the police headquarters in Peshawar, about 50 kilometers from the border with Afghanistan.

This headquarters also houses the premises of various intelligence agencies.

Extremely sensitive, the place is one of the best monitored areas in the city.

According to the police, the explosion occurred in the second row of worshipers gathered for prayer.

Bomb squads were on hand to examine the possibility that it was caused by a suicide bomber.

A rescue operation was immediately launched to free the people trapped from the rubble, the roof and a wall of the building having collapsed under the blast of the explosion.

"A lot of police are buried under the debris," said Peshawar Police Chief Muhammad Ijaz Khan, who said 300 to 400 people are usually present inside the mosque at prayer time.

An AFP reporter saw bloodied wounded being taken out of the damaged building and the bodies of apparently dead people being taken away in ambulances.

“I ran outside to save my life”

The capital and the rest of the country, particularly on the border with Afghanistan, have been placed under even heightened security alert.

In Islamabad, snipers were positioned on some buildings and at entry points to the city.

“The terrorists want to create panic by targeting those who are fulfilling their duty to defend Pakistan,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said in a statement.

“Those who fight Pakistan will be wiped off the face of the earth.


Shahid Ali, a 47-year-old policeman who survived the blast, said the detonation came seconds after the imam had started the prayer.

“I saw black smoke rising in the sky.

I ran outside to save my life,” he said.

“The screams of people still echo in my head.

They were screaming for help.


This incident took place on the same day that the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was due to pay an official visit to Islamabad.

This was canceled at the last moment on Monday, officially due to the rainy weather.

Pakistan is also due to receive a visit from a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday to try to negotiate the release of vital financial aid for its dying economy.

Targeted attacks

In March 2022, a suicide attack claimed by EI-K, the regional branch of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS), in a Shiite mosque in Peshawar left 64 dead.

It was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since 2018. According to the police, the suicide bomber was an Afghan national living in Pakistan with his family for several years, who had prepared the attack in Afghanistan.

Peshawar was ravaged by near-daily attacks during the first half of the 2010s, but security there had improved greatly in recent years.

In recent months, the city has mostly seen targeted attacks aimed primarily at security forces.

The country has been facing for some months, in particular since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in August 2021, a deterioration of security.

The attacks have resumed with renewed vigor, carried out by the Pakistani Taliban of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the EI-K or Baloch separatist groups.

Pakistan accuses the Taliban of letting these groups use Afghan soil to plan their attacks, which Kabul has repeatedly denied.

The TTP, a movement distinct from that of the new Afghan leaders but which shares common roots with it, has claimed responsibility for several attacks in recent months.

One of his worst atrocities, which left a lasting mark on Pakistan's national consciousness, was the massacre of around 150 people, mostly schoolchildren, in Peshawar in December 2014.

Source: leparis

All news articles on 2023-01-30

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