Pakistan says mosque bomber wore police uniform, breached safety on motorcycle

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Feb 2 (Reuters) – The suicide bomber who killed greater than 100 individuals at a mosque in a police compound within the Pakistan metropolis of Peshawar this week wore a police uniform and entered the excessive safety space on a bike, a provincial police chief mentioned on Thursday.

The bomber behind Monday’s assault had been recognized as a member of a militant community, Moazzam Jah Ansari, police chief of Khyber Pashtunkhwa province, advised reporters with out giving additional particulars.

“I admit this was a safety lapse. My males couldn’t cease it. That is my fault,” Ansari mentioned.

The bombing was the deadliest in a decade to hit Peshawar, a northwestern metropolis that has suffered a long time of Islamist militant violence and is positioned close to the restive Pashtun tribal lands bordering Afghanistan.

It passed off as a whole lot of worshippers gathered for midday prayers at a mosque that was goal constructed for the police and their households contained in the high-security Police Traces district.

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Ansari mentioned the CCTV footage confirmed the bomber, sporting a helmet and a masks, driving his motorcycle via the principle checkpoint of Police Traces. He then parked his bike, requested instructions to the mosque and walked there, Ansari added.

“The police guards on the predominant entrance thought he was a member of the power; they did not examine him,” Ansari mentioned.

A day earlier, the police chief mentioned investigators weren’t ruling out that the attacker may have had “inside help”. A number of suspects had been in police custody, he mentioned.

All however three of these killed had been cops, making it the worst assault on Pakistani safety forces in current historical past.

Police Traces is a colonial-era, self-contained encampment in that homes middle- and lower-ranking police personnel and their households within the provincial capital. Lots of of police staged demonstrations throughout the province to protest the assault.

Essentially the most lively militant group within the space, the Pakistani Taliban, additionally referred to as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has just lately elevated assaults on police within the northwestern province as a part of its marketing campaign towards the federal government in Islamabad.

The TTP has denied accountability for the mosque assault.

Pakistani officers say they think a breakaway faction of the TTP referred to as Jamat-ul-Ahrar was concerned.

Jamat-ul-Ahrar has claimed accountability for a number of main assaults within the area through the years, together with the dual suicide bombings at All Saints Church that killed scores of worshippers in September 2013, in what stays probably the most lethal assault on the nation’s Christian minority.

Reporting by Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar and Asif Shahzad in Islamabad; Writing by Miral Fahmy; modifying by

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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