Pakistan suicide bomber wore 'police uniform'
BET À DAY
The suicide bomber at the police headquarters in Peshawar, Pakistan, wore a police uniform and a helmet, which allowed him to pass through checkpoints and make 84 dead, according to a downwardly revised toll.
The officers on duty “did not check him because he was in police uniform (…). It was a breach (in terms of) security,” Moazzam Jah Ansari, head of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province police, told a press conference on Thursday.
Hundreds of police were taking part in a prayer Monday afternoon at the police headquarters mosque when the blast occurred, causing a wall to collapse under which officers were crushed.
The attack left 84 dead, according to a downwardly revised toll, due to the “double registration” of some deaths by families, the chief of police of the city of Peshawar told AFP , Muhammad Ijaz Khan.
He said 83 of those who died were police officers. A civilian woman who lived and worked at the compound was also killed.
It was one of the deadliest attacks in Pakistan in years, and since the upsurge in violence in the region after the capture of Kabul, on August 15, 2021, by the Taliban.
The police have a “fairly precise idea” of the identity of its author , having made the connection between CCTV images and his head, found at the scene of the explosion.
“There is an entire network behind him,” added Mr. Ansari, explaining that the attack was not planned by its sole author.
Authorities are investigating how a major security breach may have occurred in one of the city's most tightly controlled areas, home to intelligence and counterterrorism offices, neighboring the regional secretariat .
Authorities are also investigating the possibility that people inside the headquarters perimeter may have helped coordinate the attack, a senior city police official said Wednesday. anonymous.
“We have arrested people from the police (headquarters) to investigate the question of how the explosive material could have been introduced inside and whether police officers were involved in the attack,” the official told AFP. AFP.
According to the same source, at least 23 people were detained. Some are from former tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, neighboring Peshawar.
The attack plunged the city back into a state of tension that it had not known since the time, more than a decade ago, when it was the scene of the unbridled militancy of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), by subsequently driven to the mountainous border and Afghanistan.
According to experts, TTP militants have grown bolder since the withdrawal of NATO and US troops from Afghanistan and the capture from Kabul by the Taliban.
The security forces have since been the target of an increasing number of attacks which often occur at checkpoints.
Most of these actions are claimed by the Pakistani Taliban or the regional branch of the jihadist group Islamic State, but attacks responsible for many deaths remain rare.
The TTP has disassociated itself from the attack on the Peshawar mosque, saying no longer attack places of worship.
Police, however, said authorities are investigating whether someone affiliated with the group was responsible for the attack.