Police in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province stated on Monday that an preliminary probe has prompt that the banned terrorist group ISIS is behind the suicide assault on a political conference of a hardline Islamist get together that killed no less than 44 individuals and injured over 100.
The assault happened on Sunday when greater than 400 members of the conservative Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) get together, recognized for its hyperlinks to hardline political Islam, had gathered for a gathering beneath a cover within the city of Khar, which borders Afghanistan.
“We’re nonetheless investigating and gathering info on the Bajaur blast. The Preliminary probe exhibits that banned outfit Daesh (ISIS) was concerned,” Geo Information quoted police officers as saying.
The police stated they have been gathering particulars of the suicide bomber, whereas the bomb disposal squad group was amassing proof from the location.
District Police Officer Nazir Khan stated three suspects have been taken into custody.
Provincial police chief Akhtar Hayat Khan stated 10 kilogrammes of explosives set off by a suicide bomber have been used within the blast. He stated the bomber was among the many attendees seated within the entrance rows of the conference.
Native police stated the attacker detonated explosives close to the conference’s stage.
In response to police and witnesses, the blast occurred as quickly as JUI-F District Amir Maulana Abdul Rasheed reached the stage.
The deceased included JUI-F Tehsil Khar Maulana Ziaullah Jan, Navagai Tehsil Normal Secretary Maulana Hameedullah, District Info Secretary Mujahid Khan and dozens of get together employees.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) caretaker well being minister Riaz Anwar stated on Sunday evening that 44 individuals misplaced their lives whereas greater than 100 have been injured within the assault.
An emergency has been declared within the hospitals of Bajaur and adjoining areas the place a lot of the injured have been taken. The critically injured have been transported from Bajaur to hospitals within the provincial capital Peshawar by army helicopters.
Bajaur District Well being Officer Dr Faisal Kamal stated greater than 150 injured individuals had been delivered to the Bajaur District Headquarters Hospital.
Over 35 individuals have been referred to the Timargarh hospital whereas 15 critically injured individuals have been despatched to Peshawar by way of a Pakistan Military helicopter, he was quoted as saying by the Daybreak newspaper.
Rescuers have warned the demise toll could rise additional, as 15 persons are in important situation.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has strongly condemned the blast and vowed that these accountable might be recognized and punished.
“The Pakistani nation, legislation enforcement companies and our protectors won’t ever permit such cowardly ways of the enemy to succeed,” he tweeted.
Sharif spoke to JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to specific his condolences.
We’re equal members in your grief. The criminals might be really punished and bringing an finish to terrorism is the dedication of all the nation, he stated.
He ordered an investigation into the incident and instructed that the critically injured individuals be transferred to different hospitals on a helicopter.
Pakistan President Arif Alvi prayed for everlasting peace for the departed souls and commiserated with the bereaved households. He additionally wished speedy restoration for the injured and emphasised well timed medical help to them.
In an announcement issued on Sunday, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan sought an in depth report on the blast from police.
He additionally visited the Mixed Army Hospital in Peshawar, the place he met and inquired in regards to the well being of injured individuals.
Rahim Shah, a witness, advised Daybreak.com that greater than 500 individuals have been attending the conference when the blast occurred.
We have been listening to a bayan [sermon] when a strong explosion knocked me unconscious, he stated.
Shah narrated that when he regained consciousness, there was blood in every single place.
Folks have been screaming and even photographs have been fired, he added.
Sabeehullah, a 24-year-old JUI-F supporter who had his arm fractured by the blast, stated the dimensions of accidents was horrifying.
There was utter confusion, with human flesh, limbs, and physique elements scattered all through the world, alongside lifeless our bodies. I discovered myself mendacity subsequent to somebody who had misplaced their limbs. The air was crammed with the odor of human flesh, he was quoted as saying within the report.
The JUI-F chief, in an announcement issued by the get together’s media cell, expressed grief over the incident. He sought an inquiry into the assault from Prime Minister Sharif and the KP authorities.
Could Allah increase the ranks of martyrs, Fazl stated and prayed for the speedy restoration of the injured.
He additionally appealed to JUI-F employees to instantly attain hospitals and supply blood donations.
In a tweet, Inside Minister Rana Sanaullah vowed to carry the perpetrators of at the moment’s assault to justice.
The cowardly acts of terrorists can not dampen our spirits,” he stated.
Former prime minister Imran Khan stated he was saddened to study in regards to the blast and prolonged condolences to the victims’ households.
The rise in terror incidents throughout Pakistan notably in KP, requires an pressing must rethink our priorities, he stated, including that the authorities ought to give attention to eliminating terrorism.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan, has condemned the assault. TTP spokesman Khalid Khurrasani additionally condemned the blast.
Pakistan has witnessed a surge in terrorist assaults following the Taliban’s return to energy in Afghanistan in August 2021.
On January 30, a Pakistan Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up through the afternoon prayers in a mosque in Peshawar, killing 101 individuals and injuring greater than 200 others.
In February, heavily-armed TTP militants stormed the Karachi Police chief’s workplace in Pakistan’s most populous metropolis, sparking gunfire that killed three rebels and 4 others, together with two police constables.