Pakistan: Mosque Bombing Death Toll Rises to 100

    Pakistan: Mosque Bombing Death Toll Rises to 100
    Last updated Jan 31, 2023
    Image credit: Getty Images [via BBC]


    • The confirmed death toll from a suicide bombing at a crowded mosque inside a police compound in Peshawar, Pakistan, near the Afghan border, rose to 100 on Tuesday, with at least 225, mostly police officers, wounded.[1]
    • Monday's blast caused the building's ceiling to collapse, leaving an unknown number of people buried under the rubble. Peshawar's police chief said that the mosque's main hall was nearly at full capacity — around 300 people — at the time of the explosion.[2]
    • Two officials for the Pakistani Taliban, officially known as Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), released statements claiming the blast was “revenge” for the death of TTP fighter Khalid Khorasani last year. However, spokesman Muhammad Khorasani — without addressing the statements — has denied the TTP's involvement.[3]
    • Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif, who traveled to Peshawar to visit the scene, said, "terrorists want to create fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending Pakistan."[4]
    • The TTP has a strong presence in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and the city has been the scene of frequent militant attacks, especially since November after the group ended its ceasefire with government forces.[5]
    • A suicide bomber targeted a Shiite mosque in Peshawar last March, and a Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) report stated that in 2022 alone, Pakistan witnessed 376 terror attacks, in which 533 people were killed.[6]


    Narrative A

    In a cruel twist of fate, Pakistan is under threat from a group they once vocally supported in their fight against the US. Afghanistan has failed to take steps against the TTP, and Pakistan is helpless against insurgents launching attacks from their Taliban-controlled neighbor. They have reaped what they've sown with regards to support for rouge terror groups. More innocent civilians are being victimized as a result of this foreign policy blunder.

    Narrative B

    The situation with Afghanistan, and their support or indifference to attacks originating from their country, is a reality that cannot be wished away. It would be foolish to disengage with Kabul over the security situation, as it's clear that a solution can only come from cooperation between the two nations. Pakistan will continue the fight against insurgents the best it can. While there is disappointment that Afghanistan is not taking measures against militant groups, Pakistan's fight is against the TTP, not Afghanistan.

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