By: Mohnish Singh
The plot to target a highly secure mosque here in the capital of Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was hatched in Afghanistan and funded by their intelligence agency, the country’s law enforcement officials probing the suicide attack said on Tuesday.
On January 30, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up during the afternoon prayers in a Peshawar mosque, killing 101 people and injuring more than 200 others. The bomber disguised himself in a police uniform to sneak into the high-security zone and was riding a motorcycle with a helmet and mask on, a top police official said previously.
The Peshawar mosque suicide attack conspiracy was hatched in Afghanistan and funded by the intelligence agency based in Kabul, investigating officials said.
The motorcycle used in the blast was sold twice in Sarki Gate, Peshawar’s bustling market, officials said.
Police said they have arrested the sellers of the motorcycle.
Police sources said the security agencies have arrested 17 suspects involved in the devastating blast – the deadliest attack on the security personnel in decades in Pakistan. Meanwhile, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Peshawar has announced a bounty of PKR 10 million for the facilitators of the suicide bomber.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Police Chief Moazzam Jah Ansari said the suicide bomber’s identity has been identified through his DNA samples.
The bomber left his helmet at the gate before entering the highly-secured mosque which was captured in the CCTV footage.
“The facilitators behind this heinous attack will be arrested soon,” he said. Pakistan has been hit by a wave of terrorist attacks, mostly in the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, but also in Balochistan and Punjab.
The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
However, the outfit later distanced itself from the attack.
During the Apex Committee meeting held earlier this month, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership decided to seek Afghan Taliban chief Haibuttallah Akhundzada’s intervention to control the TTP.