Crime & Justice

22 arrested after deadly IS attack on Pakistan mosque that killed 57

Islamabad, Mar 5 (EFE).- A number of suspects have been arrested by the Pakistani authorities in relation with a terrorist attack on a Shia mosque during Friday prayers in which at least 57 people were killed and nearly 200 injured in the northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said Saturday.

“Police conducted raids overnight across the city and arrested 22 suspects for questioning,” Ishfaq Umar, a police official at Peshawar’s Shaheed Khan Raziq Police Station, told EFE on Saturday.

Although Umar said that sufficient information to charge the suspects for the attack was yet to be collected.

The spokesperson of the city’s Lady Reading hospital, Asim Khan, told EFE that “the death toll has reached 57 and all the bodies have been handed over to the families.”

The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement released on the Amaq news agency, affiliated with the group.

The statement claimed to have killed “at least 250 people” in the suicide bombing against the Shia mosque in western Pakistan.

According to the note, a radicalized member identified as Julaybib al-Kabli detonated an explosive belt inside the mosque after shooting at two Pakistani police officers guarding the building, killing one of them and wounding the other.

The IS has in the past carried out similar attacks against the Shia community in Pakistan, who it considers apostates as per its supremacist and extremist interpretation of Sunni Islam.

However, Friday’s attack was the deadliest claimed by the Pakistani arm of the IS against a mosque in the country.

In July 2018, an attack against a political rally in the western Balochistan province, claimed by the IS, killed 128 people and injured 122, while another attack on the same day in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province had left 4 dead and 19 wounded.

Attacks against the Shia minority in Pakistan, most of them carried out by the IS, have killed more than 2,500 people since 2001, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal. EFE


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