Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police said on Thursday that the suicide bomber, who blew himself up in a mosque in Peshawar police lines on Monday, was wearing a police uniform, helmet and mask and arrived at the site of the blast on a motorbike.
Moazzam Jah Ansari, Inspector General of Khyber Pakhtunam Police, told a press conference that the bomber had been identified as a member of a militant network, adding that the terrorist was not alone in the attack, it was a whole network supporting him.
The development of the investigation came on the fourth day of the police line explosion. Al-Ansari said the attacker was identified with the help of CCTV footage. He added that the attacker was caught via surveillance cameras while he was coming from the Khyber road.
Within 9 minutes, the suicide bomber reached the police lines from the Khyber Road. “His motorcycle’s engine and chassis numbers were fake,” Ansari told reporters. “He entered the police line as a policeman in a helmet and mask on a motorbike in a police uniform,” she added.
The suspect was shown in CCTV footage arriving at the gates on a motorbike before walking through a security checkpoint and asking officers where the mosque was. “He was not checked by those on duty because he was wearing a police uniform… It was a security lapse,” Ansari said.
“The police guards at the main entrance thought he was a member of the force; they did not check him,” the KP police chief told reporters. “I admit that this was a security lapse. My men couldn’t stop him. He added, “It’s my fault.” “The assailant’s identity was not found on the site.”
Ansari said there was a “whole network” behind the bomber. “He is not a lone ranger… We are focusing on the terrorist network behind the deadly attack. Information has been received on the group to which the attacker belongs. The perpetrators will be arrested soon,” he added.
At least 103 people, mostly policemen, who were attending afternoon prayers inside were killed, and 220 were injured in an attack on a mosque in the Red Zone. The explosion was so powerful that a wall collapsed and fell on the worshipers.
Ansari said the Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) indicated that 12 kilograms of explosives were used. The explosives were TNT [trinitrotoluene]Which is used to demolish buildings, stressing that there is no evidence of any explosive device planted in the mosque. “It was a suicide attack,” he said.
It was a 50-year-old mosque, and there were no pillars in the hall of the mosque. All the pressure of the blast came on the wall, and due to the collapse of the wall the ceiling also fell, burying the worshipers.”
He continued, “The explosion did not cause major damage such as the collapse of the roof.” He stated that between five and ten people died as a result of the explosion, but the majority of deaths were caused by the collapse of the roof of the 2,500-square-foot area.
No drone attack
Promised that every martyr would be avenged, the Armed Islamic Group said the terrorists disturbed the peace in the provincial capital. “A new storm arose even before the province ended with the burial of the martyrs.”
Al-Ansari urged citizens not to spread rumors about the explosion, as this only exacerbates the pain of the dead. He explained that speculation of a drone attack was wrong and that there was no “crater” at the site of the explosion.
“Don’t listen to the rumours, there was no drone attack in the police lines,” the police chief urged people. Police officers are being provoked into protest, which is in no way acceptable. In these difficult circumstances, police forcing young people to protest increases our suffering.”
The IGP, flanked by Metropolitan Police Officer (CCPO) Ijaz Khan, said the morale of the police force was very high despite the mosque bombing and they were all willing to make more sacrifices in order to protect the motherland from any threat.
(with input from agencies)