Pakistan says mosque bomber wore police uniform, breached security on motorbike

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – A suicide bomber who killed more than 100 people this week at a mosque inside a police compound in the Pakistani city of Peshawar wore a police uniform and rode a motorcycle to a local police station. I got on and entered a high security area. the police chief said on Thursday.

The bomber behind Monday’s attack has been identified as a member of a militant network, Khyber Pashtunkhwa police chief Moazzam Jah Ansari told reporters, without giving further details. .

“I accept that this was a safety lapse. My men were unable to stop it. This is my fault,” Ansari said.

The bombing is the deadliest in a decade to hit the northwestern city of Peshawar, which has suffered decades of Islamic extremist violence, near Pashtun tribal lands that border Afghanistan. is located.

It took place when hundreds of worshipers gathered for the noon prayer. The mosque was built inside a heavily guarded police station district for the police and their families.

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Ansari said CCTV footage showed the bombers wearing helmets and masks and riding motorbikes through a major police station checkpoint. He then parked his bike, asked for directions to the mosque and walked there, Ansari added.

“The guards at the front door thought he was part of the military. They didn’t check on him,” Ansari said.

A day earlier, the police chief said investigators had not ruled out the possibility that the attackers received “insider support”.Several suspects are in police custody, he said.

All but three of the people killed were police officers, making it the deadliest attack on Pakistani security forces in recent history.

Police Lines is a self-contained colonial encampment housing local middle and junior police officers and their families. capitalHundreds of police demonstrated across the state to protest the attacks.

The most active extremist group in the region, pakistan talibanTehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, recently ramped up attacks on police in the northwestern province as part of a campaign against the government of Islamabad.

The TTP has denied responsibility for the attack on the mosque.

Pakistani officials say they suspect a defector faction of the TTP called Jamaat-ul-Aalal was involved.

Jamat-ul-Ahrar has claimed responsibility for several large-scale attacks in the region over the years, including two suicide bombers at All Saints Church in September 2013 that killed dozens of believers.

Reported by Jibran Ahmad of Peshawar and Asif Shahzad of Islamabad. Written by Miral Family.Edited by

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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