Suicide Bomber Kills Over 90 In Pakistan Mosque

No fewer than 88 persons were killed following a suicide attack at a mosque in Pakistan, OduNews reports.

Suicide Bomber Kills Over 90 In Pakistan Mosque
Suicide Bomber Kills Over 90 In Pakistan Mosque

The mosque is within a high-security zone and an investigation is under way into how the bomber got in.

The attack, one of Pakistan’s bloodiest in years, has left scores more injured.

A Pakistani Taliban claim to have carried out the bombing was later denied by the militant group, which blamed it on a splinter faction.

In the past the Pakistani Taliban have refrained from claiming some attacks on mosques, schools or markets because they say they are at war with security forces and not the Pakistani people, but many doubt such denials.

On Tuesday, rescuers scrambled to retrieve worshippers buried in the rubble, pulling out nine people alive but recovering a further 24 bodies. No-one remained trapped, local officials said.

“Terrorists want to create fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending Pakistan,” said PM Shehbaz Sharif. He declared a national day of mourning.

A hospital spokesman confirmed that more than 100 remained wounded, some of them critical. Meanwhile, funerals have been carried out for more than 20 officers, their coffins draped with the Pakistan flag. Most of the dead were members of the security forces.

The bodies of the dead have started to be returned to their families.

Between 300 and 400 officers had been in the area at the time, Peshawar police chief Muhammad Ijaz Khan earlier told local media.

The mosque is in one of the most heavily controlled areas of the city, which includes headquarters and intelligence and counter-terrorism bureaus. On Tuesday, local media lined the road outside the gates – the closest that security would allow.

Mr Sharif said those behind the attack had “nothing to do with Islam”. He added: “The entire nation is standing united against the menace of terrorism.”

The Pakistan Taliban – a group separate to Afghanistan’s Taliban government – ended a ceasefire in November, and violence has been on the rise in the country since.

Monday’s blast took place around 13:30 (08:30 GMT) during afternoon prayers in the north-western city, which is near the country’s border with Afghanistan.

An entire wall of the building collapsed, and the mosque was covered in bricks and debris as people clambered over the rubble to escape.

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