A suicide bomber who killed 101 people at a mosque inside a major police facility in the North West PakistanA top police official said on Thursday that Peshawar city had dressed in police uniform and was riding a motorcycle wearing a helmet and mask to sneak into the high-security zone.
The guards posted at the security post at the main entrance of the police line area did not check the assailant dressed in police uniform and let him inside. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Moazzam Jah Ansari told the media here. He said the CCTV footage shows that the assailant entered the police line area through Khyber Road.
He said that the assailant had also asked a police officer the way to the mosque. The assailant asked a sergeant in Pashto where the mosque was, who said the motorcycle registration number had been traced. He said that the attacker was not a single person, but his entire network was supporting him. He said the police were close to the terrorist network responsible for the bombings.
Sources had earlier said that security agencies have arrested 17 suspects involved in the devastating blast – the deadliest attack on security personnel in Pakistan in decades. The sources said on condition of anonymity that the arrests were made from around the Police Line area where the mosque is located and the suspects were shifted to the interrogation cell for investigation.
A suicide bomber blew himself up during afternoon prayers at a mosque in the Police Line area on Monday, killing 101 people, including 97 policemen, and injuring over 200. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Ansari said TNT explosives were used in the blast, while explosives used to demolish buildings were also used. Ansari said no improvised explosive device (IED) was used in the blast as no crater was found on the ground. The hall was not supported by any pillars.
The headquarters of Peshawar Police, Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Frontier Reserve Police (FRP), Elite Force and Department of Telecommunications are also located near the blast site.
Also read: 17 suspects arrested in Pakistan blast case
The townspeople were shaken by the explosion Peshawar – was once known as the “City of Flowers”.
Policemen took out a protest rally in Peshawar on Wednesday demanding a fair and transparent probe into the deadly bomb blast. The speakers at the rally demanded formation of a joint investigation team to investigate the blast. The IGP warned that if anyone protests again, he will be fired.
Ansari said that it pains me when people mislead my children (policemen) and I am trying to solve their problems. He urged the policemen to fight terrorists and not resort to protests. The IGP also clarified that the rumor of drone strike was false.
“We will release all the details of where the plot was hatched and who were the masterminds. It is a lapse in security on my part, I don’t want to blame my officers,” he said. “We will avenge every slain policeman and bring them to justice,” he said.
Army Chief General Asim Munir has pledged zero tolerance towards terror groups and directed his generals to eliminate the menace of terrorism. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said in a statement on Wednesday that the entire country and institutions are united to eliminate the menace of terrorism. Describing the police as the frontline force in the fight against terrorism, the Prime Minister said they would be further strengthened and equipped with modern weapons.
Speaking at the federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday, Sharif expressed grave concern over the resurgence of terrorist elements, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan. The Prime Minister said that if immediate and effective steps are not taken, the heinous incidents may spread to other parts of the country as well.
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