News of 47 dead in Pakistani mosque attack. Last Minute WORLD headlines and events
At least 47 people have died in a suicide attack on an overcrowded mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. The attack in Peshawar, where Islamist militants continue to operate, was carried out against the police.
Hospital officials said at least 176 people were injured in the attack, with most of the injured in critical condition.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif called the attack a suicide attack. Police spokesman Sikandar Khan said at least 400 people were inside the mosque at the time of the attack.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place during midday prayers. The wall, which collapsed as a result of the explosion, collapsed on the worshipers. The blast took place in a heavily guarded area that also houses a mosque, police, and an anti-terrorism unit.
Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Asif told Geo TV: “We found that the terrorist who carried out the attack was in the first place among those who prayed.”
Footage from the Pakistani government broadcaster PTV shows police and residents of the city clearing rubble at the site of the explosion and carrying the wounded on their shoulders.
The latest attack was the worst since the attack on a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers in Peshawar in March last year, which killed at least 58 people and injured 200. ISIS claimed responsibility for last year’s attack.
Located on the fringes of Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, Peshawar is often targeted by Islamist militants, including the Pakistani Taliban.
This organization, known as the Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), is a front for Sunni Islamist groups seeking to overthrow the government and replace it with their Islamist regimes.
The TTP has stepped up its attacks since it tore apart a peace deal with the Pakistani government last year. This agreement was reached under the auspices of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
In recent months, the organization has stepped up its attacks on police. In December, Islamist militants seized a counter-terrorism center in northwest Pakistan and took hostage those inside the center to negotiate with government officials.
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