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Pak PM, Army chief reach Peshawar for emergency meeting after deadly blast

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Peshawar, Jan 30 (Ajit Weekly News) Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir reached Peshawar on Monday following a deadly suicide attack at a mosque in the Police Lines area, media reports said.

At least 47 people were killed and over 150 were injured in the bomb blast that apparently targeted policemen offering Zuhr prayers at the mosque in Peshawar’s Police Lines area, according to media reports.

In a tweet from her official handle, Pakistan’s Information Minister, Marriyum Auurangzeb, said the Prime Minister has called for an emergency meeting which will review the motives behind the terrorist attack. All relevant institutions have been directed to attend the meeting, she said, The Express Tribune reported.

“A preliminary investigation report of the incident will be presented in the meeting,” she said.

Sharif, accompanied by the Army chief, also visited the Lady Reading Hospital in the provincial capital and inquired after the health of the injured.

The Prime Minister, in a statement, said that the killing of Muslims while they were offering prayer was in violation of Islamic teaching, and that the attack on a mosque proved that the perpetrators had nothing to do with Islam.

He said the terrorists wanted to create panic by targeting those safeguarding the country, and reiterated his resolve to eliminate such elements waging war against Pakistan, The Express Tribune reported.

“The killers of innocent people will be made an example. The whole nation, including the institutions, is united against terrorism,” Sharif said.

Officials said that people are still buried under the rubble, BBC reported.

According to Geo News, the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has taken responsibility for the attack. The Peshawar mosque attack is by far the biggest in the serious of attacks that TTP has been conducting targeting the security forces and their installations.

The group ended a ceasefire in November last year, and violence has been on the rise ever since.

Peshawar police chief Muhammad Ijaz Khan told local media that between 300 and 400 police officers were in the area at the time of the blast, BBC reported.

In a statement, Sharif said those behind the attack “have nothing to do with Islam”, adding, “The entire nation is standing united against the menace of terrorism.”

The blast took place at around 1.30 p.m. during afternoon prayers in the north-western city, located near the country’s border with Afghanistan.

A video circulating on social media and verified by the BBC showed that half of a wall caved in. The mosque was covered in bricks and debris as people clambered over the rubble to escape.

A rescue operation is continuing inside the mosque and “more bodies are being taken out”, Peshawar city Deputy Commissioner Shafiullah Khan said.

“Currently our priority is to save the people buried under the debris,” Khan added.

–Ajit Weekly News


News Credits – I A N S

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