At least 59 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in Pakistan from a deadly mosque explosion.
- Over 50 people have been killed and nearly 150 more injured during an attack that took place inside a mosque in northern Pakistan on Monday.
- Officials in the city of Peshawar reported at least 260 people were in the mosque praying when the explosion occurred.
- Sarbakaf Mohmand, a commander for the Pakistani Taliban, took responsibility for the attack, one of the deadliest on security forces in the country in recent years.
- Authorities said Mohmand passed through several barricades to breach the “Red Zone” that houses police and counter-terrorism offices.
- “It was a suicide bombing,” Peshawar Police Chief Ijaz Khan confirmed with Reuters. “We have found traces of explosives.”
- Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited the wounded Monday, saying the attack is “unimaginable.”
- “The sheer scale of the human tragedy is unimaginable. This is no less than an attack on Pakistan,” Sharif said.
PAKISTAN PRIME MINISTER SHAHBAZ SHARIF ON THE DEADLY MOSQUE ATTACKS:
“Terrorists want to create fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending Pakistan,” Sharif said. “The entire nation is standing united against the menace of terrorism.”
- Earlier this month, another gunman claimed by the Pakistani Taliban shot and killed two intelligence officers, including the director of the counterterrorism unit of the country’s military-based agency Inter-Services Intelligence.
- The militant group, Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), associated itself with Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban and launched a number of attacks across the country at the time.
- Pakistani authorities have said the TTP is operating out of nearby Afghanistan.
- The TTP was created to fight the Pakistani state and enforce its radical view of Islam after American-led forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to drive out the Taliban.