By Daniela Morales, 10th Grade
On Monday, January 30, the Police Lines Mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan, suffered from a suicide bombing attack that plummeted its whole structure while taking the lives of over a hundred people and leaving more than two-hundred injured survivors (Saifi, 2023). A suicide bombing is “an act in which an individual personally delivers explosives and detonates them to inflict the greatest possible damage, killing himself or herself in the process” (Kiras, 2023). After the damage was done, police officers estimated that the suicide bomber had been carrying 12 kilograms worth of explosives (Saifi, 2023). What’s more surprising about this attack is where it happened, since that mosque is inside a police compound, it is expected to have high levels of security.
While police officers are still investigating to find the perpetrator, the rumors surrounding the profile of this criminal have grown. Experts, such as Akhtar Ali Shah who worked as regional interior secretary for Peshawar said that the attack was not spontaneous, it was well-thought out and the person who did it must have been helped by someone from inside the mosque since there are multiple security checkpoints that even ask for identification cards to enter the mosque. Others, such as the defense minister, think this attack comes from the Pakistani Taliban or TTP, and although two members of the TTP said that the group had done it, the spokesman of this organization denied any accusations. When the attack happened, approximately 300 people were gathered in the mosque, most of them police officers (Khan and Ahmed, 2023).
The families of these police officers are bound with grief, as some of them were even present in the attack and saw their relatives die. Out of the first 100 people that were reported to be dead, 97 were police officers. “Monday’s bombing was the deadliest in a decade to hit Peshawar, a restive northwestern city prone to Islamist militant violence near the Afghan border” (Ahmad and Mahsud, 2023). Peshawar is a city that experiences frequent threats by terrorist groups, since it’s near the border separating Pakistan from Afghanistan, where groups like the Pakistani Taliban and Jamat-ul-Ahrar, are active. Especially the Pakistan Taliban, which has become bolder since it ended the ceasefire it had with the Pakistani government in November and attacked a police station in December last year (Davies, 2023). Nevertheless, this violence is not something people should be accustomed to, authorities must continue to enforce counter-terrorism measures so that tragedies like the one of the Police lines mosque can be prevented.
Peshawar, L. I. C. M. G. I. D. C. L. B. &. (2023, January 31). Pakistan mosque blast: Police targeted in suicide attack that kills 59. BBC News. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-64451936
Kiras, J. (2023, January 25). Suicide bombing | Definition, History, & Facts. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/suicide-bombing
Saifi, S. (2023, February 1). Suspects arrested in fatal Pakistan mosque suicide attack that left over 100 dead. CNN. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/01/asia/pakistan-peshawar-mosque-attack-suspects-arrested-intl/index.html
Pakistan bombing raises fears over security breach, 100 dead. (2023, January 31). AP NEWS. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from https://apnews.com/article/pakistan-mosque-bombing-death-toll-rises-fdbc592dfd3b9a23ec2081b635d65b6e