Pakistan leaders discuss response to deadly mosque blast

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of Pakistan Asim Munir and Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visit an injured, after a suicide blast in a mosque, at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan January 30, 2023. Prime Minister's Office/Handout via REUTERS

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistan’s political and military leaders met in Peshawar on Friday to discuss responses to what the prime minister called a “new wave of terrorism”, four days after a mosque blast killed more than 100 people in the city.

A suspected Islamist suicide bomber blew himself up during prayers in a highly fortified area of the northwestern city housing police and counter-terrorism offices on Monday. Police said the attacker wore a police uniform.

All but three of those killed were police, marking the single largest death toll of security forces by militants in the south Asian nation.

“The whole nation wants to know how to counter this menace and what measures can be taken to eliminate this new wave of terrorism,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said in his opening remarks to military and intelligence command staff at the meeting.

“We will use all resources in our capacity to fight this menace,” he added.

Pakistani authorities have blamed the bombing on the U.S.- designated militant group Jamat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The TTP, which is an umbrella of several Sunni and sectarian Islamist groups, has stepped up attacks since it revoked a peace deal with the government last year.

More Stories