A top police chief in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has revealed that a suicide bomber who blew himself up on Monday in a deadly attack on a Peshawar mosque had entered the high-security mosque compound disguised as a policeman.
Moazzam Jah Ansari, the police inspector general for the province, in a press conference on Thursday said security camera footage showed the bomber entering the heavily fortified police compound surrounding the mosque on a motorbike.
The policemen deployed at the entrance of the compound failed to “check the bomber because they thought he was their own”, he said.
“We have traced the suicide bomber … He was in a police uniform and was wearing a mask and a helmet,” Ansari said.
Ansari said that the bomber entered the main gate of the compound and asked police officers for directions to the mosque, where he detonated a bomb which killed at least 101 people, mostly police.
“This means that the attacker was not aware of the area. He was given a target and there is an entire network behind him … he was not a lone wolf,” Ansari said.Authorities use heavy machinery to clear the rubble and search for bodies at the site of Monday’s suicide bombing in Peshawar.
He said the suicide bomber’s remains have been sent for forensic examination.
Another 200 people were also wounded in the bombing at the mosque inside the compound’s police lines.
More than 20 people have been arrested in connection with the bombing as Pakistan grapples with mounting security as well as economic challenges. The country has been negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout as it faces an unprecedented balance of payment crisis. (AlJazeera)