A suicide assault team has killed at least 15 people after one of the bombers detonated his vest inside a Shia mosque in the provincial capital of Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan. Today’s attack in Peshawar is the third major suicide bombing in the country in the past six days.
Pakistani officials said that three suicide bombers armed with AK-47s attacked the mosque in Peshawar as the Shia worshipers were conducting Friday prayers. The suicide assault team traded gunfire with a security team at the entrance of the mosque; two suicide bombers and two guards were killed, according to Dawn.
The surviving member of the suicide assault team “entered the mosque and blew himself up in front of the worshippers,” the Superintendent of Police told Dawn. During the attack, 15 people were killed and more than two dozen were wounded, SAMAA reported.
The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan and allies such as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan have executed multiple suicide attacks at mosques, funerals, religious processions, weddings, and hospitals in both Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past several years.
Today’s attack in Peshawar is the third major suicide bombing and the second suicide assault in Pakistan in the past six days.
On June 16, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Pakistani terror group closely allied with al Qaeda and the Taliban, executed a complex assault against female university students in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan. The assault began when a female suicide bomber detonated on a bus transporting female students. Then another suicide bomber detonated at the hospital where the wounded were taken, while a team of fighters ambushed security personnel arriving at the scene. At least 25 people, including 14 female students, were killed in the assault.
The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed credit for numerous terror attacks in Pakistan, and has often targeted Shiites. The terror group has released videos of executions of captured Shia prisoners.
On June 18, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a funeral in Mardan in northwestern Pakistan. A member of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly was among 35 people killed in the deadly blast.
The newly elected Pakistani government, which is run by the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz, is continuing to pursue peace talks with the Taliban and other “militant” groups despite the series of deadly suicide bombings that have taken place over the past week.