Officials vowed on Saturday to track down and apprehend the perpetrators of a deadly mosque attack in Pakistan that killed 63 people and injured nearly 200. The attack was claimed by the Daesh militant group.
The lone suicide bomber was from neighboring Afghanistan, according to Daesh. He shot two police officers guarding a Shiite mosque in northwest Peshawar before entering and detonating his device, according to the report. As worshipers knelt for Friday prayer, the attack occurred.
Asim Khan, a spokesman for Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, predicted that the death toll would continue to rise. He said at least four of the 38 patients still in the hospital were in critical condition.
The attack was criticized by the Taliban rulers in Afghanistan, who have been fighting Daesh. Since taking power last August, Daesh has proven to be the Taliban’s greatest security threat.
“We are highly against the bombing of a mosque in Pakistan’s Peshawar. The Taliban’s Deputy Minister for Culture and Information, Zabihullah Mujahid, tweeted, “There is no justification for attacking civilians and worshipers.” He remained silent when asked about Daesh’s claim that the suicide bomber was an Afghan.
Pakistanis buried their dead late Friday night and early Saturday morning, surrounded by heavy security and sniffer dogs. Mourners were subjected to body searches by police, who were then subjected to a second search by security provided by Pakistan’s Shiite community.
Daesh is an enemy of the Afghan Taliban, and since taking power last year, it has carried out a series of operations against them. Despite Pakistani security officials’ claims that Daesh has little presence in the country, the group pledged to carry out more attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan in a statement claiming responsibility for the mosque attack.
“Despite the Taliban militia’s and Pakistani police’s intensive security measures to secure Shi’a temples and centers, Islamic State (Daesh) fighters are constantly targeting Shiites living in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” said a Daesh statement posted on its Amaq News Agency website.