Suspects arrested over Pakistan mosque blast, police focus on how bomber got in

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Police investigating a suicide bombing that killed more than 100 people at a mosque in Pakistan said on Tuesday that several people had been arrested and that they could not rule out the possibility. Deny that the bomber escaped from domestic help. Security checks

The bombing was the deadliest in a decade when it hit Peshawar, a restive northwestern city near the Afghan border, and all but three of the dead were policemen, making it Pakistan’s security forces’ worst attack in history. The latter suffer the most damage.

Monday’s bombing occurred as hundreds of worshipers gathered for noon prayers at a mosque built for police and their families in a heavily fortified area.

“We have found excellent leads and based on these leads we have made some big arrests,” Peshawar police chief Ijaz Khan told Reuters.

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“We cannot rule out domestic help, but as the investigation is still ongoing, I cannot share any further details.”

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Investigators, who include counterterrorism and intelligence officials, are focusing on how the attacker was able to infiltrate military and police checkpoints leading to the Police Lines area, an independent colonial-era encampment in the city center that is home to middle-class people. slow – and low-level police personnel and their families.

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Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said that the bomber was in the first row of the prayer hall when he attacked. Moazzam Jah Ansari, the provincial police chief, told Reuters that the attacker’s remains had been recovered.

He added: “We believe that the attackers are not an organized group.

The most active militant group in the region, the Pakistani Taliban, also known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has denied responsibility for the attack, which has not yet been claimed by any group. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah told parliament that a splinter faction of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) was to blame.

The explosion destroyed the upper floor of the mosque. It was the deadliest suicide attack in Peshawar since twin suicide bombings at All Saints Church in September 2013, which killed scores of worshippers, in what remains the deadliest attack on the country’s Christian minority.

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Peshawar is on the edge of Pashtun tribal lands, an area that has been mired in violence for the past two decades.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is an umbrella group for Sunni and sectarian Islamist factions opposed to the government in Islamabad. The group has recently increased its attacks against the police.

Report by Gibran Ahmed in Peshawar and Asif Shahzad in Islamabad. Written by Miral Fahmi; Edited by Simon Cameron Moore

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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