The death toll from the suicide bombing at a mosque in Pakistan has risen to 74

The dying toll from the day before today’s suicide bombing at a mosque in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday jumped to 74, police and a rescue official mentioned, after rescuers pulled 15 extra our bodies from the rubble.

They’re nonetheless clearing the rubble after the roof of the mosque collapsed within the aftermath of the assault, mentioned Bilal Faizi, the chief rescue officer.

He mentioned that the bombing that occurred within the northwestern metropolis of Peshawar additionally resulted within the harm of greater than 150 folks. It was not clear how the suicide bomber managed to infiltrate the compound, which is surrounded by a wall in a high-security space with different authorities buildings.

Additionally, mourners on Tuesday had been burying the bombing victims in numerous cemeteries in Peshawar and different locations.

Sarbakaf Mohmand, a pacesetter of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, often known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, claimed accountability for the assault in a Twitter submit.

Hours later, nonetheless, the motion’s spokesman, Mohammad Khorasani, distanced the group from the bombing, saying that its coverage is to not goal mosques, non secular institutes and spiritual locations, including that those that interact in such actions might face punitive measures beneath the motion’s coverage. His assertion didn’t deal with the explanation why the chief of the Pakistani Taliban claimed accountability for the bombing.

“The sheer scale of the human tragedy is unimaginable. That is nothing in need of an assault on Pakistan,” Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif tweeted.who visited the wounded in Peshawar and vowed to “take powerful motion” in opposition to these behind the bombing. He expressed his condolences to the households of the victims, saying that their ache “can’t be described in phrases.”

Pakistan, which is predominantly Sunni Muslim, has seen a surge in militant assaults since November, when the Pakistani Taliban ended a ceasefire with authorities forces.

Earlier this month, the Pakistani Taliban claimed that one in all its members shot and killed two intelligence officers, together with the director of the counter-terrorism wing of the military-based spy company Inter-Companies Intelligence. Safety officers mentioned on Monday that the gunman was tracked down and killed in a shootout within the nation’s northwest, close to the Afghan border.

The Pakistani Taliban is separate from, however a detailed ally of, the Afghan Taliban. The Pakistani Taliban have waged an insurgency in Pakistan for the previous 15 years, looking for stricter enforcement of Islamic legal guidelines, the discharge of its members detained by the federal government, and a discount of Pakistan’s army presence within the areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that it has lengthy used as its base. .

Monday’s assault on a Sunni mosque contained in the police headquarters was one of many deadliest assaults on safety forces in recent times.

Greater than 300 worshipers had been praying on the mosque with extra approaching when the attacker detonated his explosive vest. Many had been injured when the roof fell, in accordance with Zafar Khan, a police officer, and rescuers needed to clear piles of particles to achieve worshipers nonetheless trapped beneath the rubble.

Mina Gul, who was within the mosque when the bomb exploded, mentioned he didn’t understand how he escaped unhurt. The 38-year-old police officer mentioned he heard screams and screams after the explosion.

Peshawar is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the place the Pakistani Taliban has a powerful presence, and town has been the scene of frequent assaults from militants.

The Afghan Taliban seized energy in neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021 as US and NATO forces withdraw from the nation after 20 years of battle.

The Pakistani authorities’s truce with the TTP ended because the nation was nonetheless dealing with unprecedented floods that claimed 1,739 lives, destroyed greater than two million houses and at one level submerged as much as a 3rd of the nation.

The Afghan Ministry of International Affairs mentioned in an announcement that it was “unhappy to study that many individuals misplaced their lives and lots of others had been injured in an explosion in a mosque in Peshawar”, and denounced the assaults on worshipers as opposite to the teachings of Islam.

Condemnations had been additionally issued from the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad, in addition to from the US Embassy, ​​including that “the US stands with Pakistan in condemning all types of terrorism.”

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric mentioned UN Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres described the bombing as “notably abhorrent” to focus on a spot of worship.

Money-strapped Pakistan is dealing with a extreme financial disaster It’s looking for an important $1.1 billion installment from the Worldwide Financial Fund – a part of the $6 billion bailout package deal – to keep away from default. Talks with the Worldwide Financial Fund about reviving the bailout have stalled in current months.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan described the bombing as a “suicide terrorist assault”. He tweeted: “My prayers and condolences are with the households of the victims. It’s crucial that we enhance our intelligence gathering and adequately equip our police forces to fight the rising menace of terrorism.”

Sharif’s authorities got here to energy in April after Khan was ousted in a vote of no confidence in Parliament. Khan has since campaigned for snap elections, claiming his ouster was unlawful and a part of a US-backed conspiracy. Washington and Sharif rejected Khan’s claims.


Related Press author Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed.

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