Sarbakaf Mohmand, a commander for the Pakistani Taliban, claimed duty for the assault on Twitter. The principle spokesman for the militant group was not instantly obtainable for remark.
Pakistan, which is generally Sunni Muslim, has seen a surge in militant assaults since November, when the Pakistani Taliban ended their cease-fire with authorities forces. Monday’s assault on a Sunni mosque was one of many deadliest assaults on safety forces in recent times.
The militant group, also referred to as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, is separate from however a detailed ally of the Afghan Taliban. The TTP has waged an insurgency in Pakistan previously 15 years, in search of stricter enforcement of Islamic legal guidelines, the discharge of its members in authorities custody and a discount within the Pakistani navy presence in areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province it has lengthy used as its base.
Greater than 300 worshippers have been praying within the mosque, with extra approaching, when the bomber set off his explosives vest. Many have been injured when the roof got here down, in accordance with Zafar Khan, a police officer, and rescuers needed to take away mounds of particles to succeed in worshippers nonetheless trapped underneath the rubble.
Meena Gul, who was within the mosque when the bomb went off, stated he doesn’t know the way he survived unharmed. The 38-year-old police officer stated he heard cries and screams after the blast.
Police official Siddique Khan stated the loss of life toll had risen to at the very least 47, whereas greater than 150 folks have been wounded. He stated the bomber blew himself up whereas among the many worshippers.
A close-by hospital listed lots of the wounded in essential situation, elevating fears the loss of life toll may rise.
Senior police and authorities officers attended the funerals of 30 cops and preparations to bury the remaining have been being made. Coffins have been wrapped within the Pakistani flag their our bodies have been later handed over to kin for burials.
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the place the Pakistani Taliban have a powerful presence, and town has been the scene of frequent militant assaults.
The Afghan Taliban seized energy in neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021 as U.S. and NATO troops pulled overseas after 20 years of struggle.
The Pakistani authorities’s truce with the TTP ended because the nation was nonetheless contending with unprecedented flooding that killed 1,739 folks, destroyed greater than 2 million houses, and at one level submerged as a lot as a 3rd of the nation.
Mohmand, of the militant group, stated a fighter carried out the assault to avenge the killing of Abdul Wali, who was extensively generally known as Omar Khalid Khurasani, and was killed in neighboring Afghanistan’s Paktika province in August 2022.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif condemned the bombing, vowed “stern motion” towards these behind it, and ordered authorities to offer the very best medical therapy for the victims.
Sharif traveled to Peshawar and visited the wounded. His workplace stated he would obtain a briefing in regards to the safety scenario within the northwest.
Afghanistan’s International Ministry stated in an announcement that it was “saddened to be taught that quite a few folks misplaced their lives and lots of others have been injured by an explosion at a mosque in Peshawar” and condemned assaults on worshippers as opposite to the teachings of Islam.
Condemnations additionally got here from the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad, in addition to the U.S. Embassy, including that “The US stands with Pakistan in condemning all types of terrorism.”
Money-strapped Pakistan faces a extreme financial disaster and is in search of an important installment of $1.1 billion from the Worldwide Financial Fund — a part of its $6 billion bailout package deal — to keep away from default. Talks with the IMF on reviving the bailout have stalled previously months.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan referred to as the bombing a “terrorist suicide assault.” He tweeted: “My prayers & condolences go to victims households. It’s crucial we enhance our intelligence gathering & correctly equip our police forces to fight the rising menace of terrorism.”
Sharif’s authorities got here to energy in April after Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament. Khan has since campaigned for early elections, claiming his ouster was unlawful and a part of a plot backed by america. Washington and Sharif dismiss Khan’s claims.
Related Press author Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this report.