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Pakistan: At least 100 killed in mosque attack in Peshawar

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The attack was committed in retaliation for police operations targeting armed Islamist groups, according to the local police chief.

In northwestern Pakistan, an explosion caused by a suicide attack in a Peshawar mosque located in the city’s police headquarters on Monday 30 January. The roof and a wall collapsed under the blast. The latest death toll was 100 and 221 injured. According to Interior Minister Ranah Sanaullah, the attack killed 97 police officers and three civilians, and 27 injured are still in critical condition.

The attack was carried out in retaliation for police operations targeting armed Islamist groups, the local police chief said on Tuesday.
Provincial police chief Moazzam Jah Ansari said a suicide bomber managed to enter the mosque carrying 10 to 12 kilograms of “small explosives. About 300 to 400 police officers were in the mosque at the time of the blast.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. A national action plan has been adopted by Pakistan to stop the presence of armed groups on Pakistani soil. Since the return of the Taliban to power in Kabul in August 2021, the country appears to be experiencing an increase in insecurity and attacks on police forces, patrols, roadblocks and even police stations.

Peshawar is about 50 km from the border with Afghanistan and close to the tribal regions, a volatile area where the Taliban have strongholds.

On 22 September 2013, a Taliban faction claimed responsibility for an attack on a church in Peshawar. This was the deadliest attack on the Christian community in the country at the time, killing 82 people. On 16 December 2014, at least 141 students were killed in a school attack by a Taliban commando. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistan.

The government placed the whole country on high alert on Monday.

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