Rescue workers on Tuesday recovered the severed head of the suspected suicide bomber, who they say blew himself up inside a mosque full of worshipers during midday prayers on Monday in the high-security zone in Pakistan’s restive northwestern city of Peshawar.
The death toll from the bomb explosion rose to 93, with 221 people seriously injured, police officials said, as rescue operations continued to extract the remaining bodies from the rubble.
The powerful blast occurred at the mosque in the police lines area around 1:40 p.m. as worshipers, including police, army and explosives disposal personnel, performed the Zuhr prayer (afternoon prayer).
The suicide bomber who was present in the front row blew himself up, causing the roof to collapse on the worshipers, officials said.
Capital Police Officer (CCPO) Peshawar Mohammad Aijaz Khan told Geo TV that the blast appeared to be a suicide bomber and that the head of the suspected bomber was recovered at the site in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
“It is possible that the attacker was already present in police lines before the explosion and that he used an official vehicle. [to enter]”, he told Geo TV.
Khan added that the exact nature of the blast will be known once the rescue operation is completed.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s acting chief minister Muhammad Azam Khan on Tuesday announced a day of mourning in the province following the attack.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, saying it was part of a revenge drive for TTP commander Umar Khalid Khurasani who was killed in Afghanistan last August.
A police official said part of the mosque had collapsed and several people were believed to be trapped underneath.
Founded as an umbrella group of various terror groups in 2007, the TTP called a ceasefire with the federal government and ordered its terrorists to carry out attacks across the country.
The group, believed to be close to al-Qaeda, is blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including a 2009 attack on army headquarters, attacks on military bases and the 2008 Marriott bombing. Hotel in Islamabad.
In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban attacked the Army Public School (APS) in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least 150 people, including 131 students.
The attack sent shock waves around the world and was widely condemned.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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