Home / News / World /  Internal assistance can't be ruled out…: Peshawar police on ‘excellent clues’ in mosque blast

Days after a deadly suicide bombing at a mosque in Pakistan's Peshawar left over a hundred people dead, police said that they have landed on “some excellent clues". 

Peshawar police chief Ijaz Khan told Reuters “We have found some excellent clues, and based on these clues we have made some major arrests." 

“We can’t rule out internal assistance but since the investigation is still in progress, I will not be able to share more details."

So far, 23 people have been detained in connection to the blast that killed 101 people. 

A suicide bomber slipped undetected into a highly sensitive compound in northwest Peshawar and detonated explosives among a row of worshippers in the compound's mosque on Monday, causing a wall to collapse and crush officers. 

"We have detained people from the police line (headquarters) to get to the bottom of how the explosive material made its way in and to see if any police officials were also involved in the attack," the senior official said, as reported by AFP. "The attacker and facilitators might have had links outside Pakistan."

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Asif cited, the bomber was in the first row of the prayer hall when he detonated the explosives. 

Authorities are investigating how a major security breach could happen in one of the most tightly controlled areas of the city, housing intelligence and counter-terrorism bureaus, and next door to the regional secretariat.

Akhtar Ali Shah, a former regional interior secretary once based in Peshawar, said, as reported by the Independent UK, it “was not a spur of the moment attack".

“It was the handiwork of a well-organised group," he told the Associated Press. He said those behind the attack must have had inside help to gain access to the compound and probably entered it several times for reconnaissance or even to plant explosives ahead of time.

Low-level militancy, often targeting security checkpoints, has been steadily rising in the areas near Peshawar that border Afghanistan since the Taliban seized control of Kabul in August 2021.

The assaults are claimed mostly by the Pakistani Taliban, as well as the local chapter of the Islamic State, but mass casualty attacks remain rare.

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