KP mourns as deaths from mosque suicide bombing hit 100
PESHAWAR – The caretaker government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced one-day mourning across the province on Tuesday as a suicide attack on a mosque in Police Lines area of Peshawar claimed at least 93 lives and injured 157 others.
Caretaker KP Chief Minister Mohammad Azam Khan ordered that national flags at all government buildings will fly at half-mast to show solidarity with the families of the victims.
The suicide bomber, who was standing in the first row when Zuhr prayers were being offered in the mosque, blew himself up. The blast was powerful enough that a part of the mosque caved in, leaving several worshippers stranded under the rubble.
The death toll in the deadly attack has surged to 93 while causalities could surge as efforts are underway to recover people stuck in the rubble since Monday afternoon.
Political Leadership Widely Condemns Attack
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who also visited Peshawar shortly after the deadly attack in Peshawar, strongly condemned the attack.
In a statement, the premier said such cowardly terror attacks couldn t weaken resolve of the nation against terrorism, adding that the miscreants and their facilitators involved in attacks on innocent citizens would be punished for their heinous crimes.
The premier said terrorists were attacking the security institutions, which were defending Pakistan, adding the terrorists were making a nefarious attempt to create an atmosphere of fear and terror in the country. He also called for implementing the National Action Plan (NAP) with full force to curb the resurgence of terrorism.
President Dr Arif Alvi also strongly condemned the suicide bomb attack on the mosque in Peshawar. In a message of condolence, the president expressed grief and sorrow for the worshippers who were martyred due to the suicide attack in the mosque during the prayer. Those who carried out suicide attack on Muslims were the enemies of Islam, humanity and Pakistan, he added.
He said the Pakistani nation was determined against terrorism and such terrorist activities could not waver resolve of the Pakistani nation.
Foreign Minister and PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari vowed that terrorists and their facilitators would be taken to task for the brazen attack. He also called for implementing the NAP to weed out terrorism.
In a message on Twitter, former prime minister Imran Khan said: “My prayers and condolences go to victims’ families. It is imperative we improve our intelligence gathering and properly equip our police forces to combat the growing threat of terrorism”.
World Community Condemns Attack
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned suicide bombing in the northwestern Pakistan, saying it was “particularly abhorrent” that the attack occurred at a place of worship.
“Freedom of religion or belief, including the ability to worship in peace and security, is a universal human right,” his Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement he read out at the regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.
“The Secretary-General extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a prompt recovery to those injured,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the President of the UN General Assembly Csaba Korosi also strongly condemned the attack in Peshawar, saying, “Targeting people as they pray is a truly horrid and cowardly attack.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a brief statement said that “worshipers at a mosque in Peshawar endured a horrific attack today, which killed and injured many.” He added that “terrorism for any reason at any place is indefensible.”
In a separate statement on Twitter, the US Embassy in Islamabad assured that “the United States stands with Pakistan in condemning all forms of terrorism.”
The Russian foreign minister also condemned the suicide attack and called for global cooperation to curb terrorism.
British Deputy High Commissioner Andrew Dalgleish wrote in Twitter, “Shocked and saddened by the attack in #Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Violence is never the answer. Prayers for the victims, their families, and those currently fighting for their lives”.