Toll 65 as another Peshawar blast victim succumbs to wounds

Police say suicide bomber of Peshawar Imambargah was Afghan

By: News Desk
Published: 09:54 AM, 10 Mar, 2022
Toll 65 as another Peshawar blast victim succumbs to wounds
Caption: File photo of the imambargah.
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Another victim of the Peshawar Imambargah suicide attack died of critical injuries on Thursday, increasing the death toll from the day of the incident to 65, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The deceased has been identified as Asif, and he was under treatment at a local hospital.

It is to be noted here that almost 60 people were martyred in a suicide attack inside the Imambargah in Kucha Risaldar, Peshawar. The remaining breathed their last in hospitals.

AFP adds: An Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber who killed 65 people at Peshawar Imambargah last Friday was an Afghan exile who returned home to train for the attack, police said.

There have been warnings Afghanistan could become a recruiting ground and staging post for militants since the Taliban returned to power last year following the hasty withdrawal of US-led forces.

The Taliban have pledged they will not allow Afghan soil to be used to plot attacks on other nations, but last month the UN Security Council said "terrorist groups enjoy greater freedom there than at any time in recent history". 

Two senior Pakistan police officials told AFP that the suicide bomber responsible for Friday's Peshawar blast had prepared the attack in Afghanistan.

It was claimed by IS, whose Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) affiliate has been active for years in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The officials said the attacker was an Afghan national in his 30s who moved to Pakistan with his family decades ago. "The bomber went (back) to Afghanistan, trained there and returned without informing his family," one of the senior police officials told AFP.

"Islamic State-Khorasan is becoming a strong threat for us, they are operating from Afghanistan but they have sleeping cells here," he added.

Taliban officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

- International apprehension -

Muhammad Amir Rana, director of the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), said there was "a lot of apprehension" in the international community over the prospect of Afghanistan becoming a haven for militancy.

While the Taliban can rein in sister groups like Al-Qaeda -- which carried out the 9/11 attacks -- "they cannot guarantee they will do the same about the groups which are not under their control like IS-K", he said.

"There are a lot of questions on the Taliban's ability to govern Afghanistan," said Rana.

Police said they had killed three "facilitators" of the Peshawar attack in an overnight operation, and arrested 20 others suspected of involvement.

Reporter Azmat Ali Shah