Pakistani police released surveillance video footage of a suicide bomber attacking a mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.
Footage showed the assailant riding his motorcycle between Pakistani security forces’ ambush lines before pulling over to the side of the road and heading towards the mosque.
It is not possible to identify the attacker from the video because he was wearing a protective medical mask and a protective helmet.
On Monday, police blamed the attack on Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a more extremist faction of the Pakistani Taliban, which has denied responsibility for the attack.
The attacker later wore explosive belts and the uniform of security agents who mistook him for one, a local police chief said last week.
The explosion, which occurred during afternoon prayers on Jan. 30 and injured 225 people, caused the roof of a 50-year-old mosque to collapse.
Islamabad has said it is asking Afghanistan’s top Taliban leader to mediate with the Pakistani Taliban after an attack, officials said on Saturday.
Since the Taliban’s return to power in Kabul, Pakistan has seen a sharp increase in attacks in areas bordering Afghanistan, where the rugged terrain allows militants to go unnoticed.
The Pakistani Taliban shares common goals with the Afghan Taliban, led by Heptullah Akhundzada, who governs the country from Kandahar (in the south), stronghold of the hard-line Islamist movement.
Faisal Karim Kundi, special adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, said on Saturday that delegations will be sent to Tehran and Kabul asking them to ensure that terrorists do not use their land against Pakistan.
A Pakistani police spokesman in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where Monday’s attack took place, told AFP that the Kabul delegation would meet “high-level personalities”.
“When we speak of a senior official, we mean the Afghan leader Hebtullah Akhundzada,” added the official, who preferred to remain anonymous.
Afghan officials did not immediately respond to the AFP’s request for comment.
During the two decades of US intervention in Afghanistan, Islamabad was accused of secretly supporting the Afghan Taliban, despite its military alliance with the United States.
But after the Taliban returned to power in Kabul in 2021, relations soured, especially after the return of the Pakistani Taliban.
Founded by Pakistani jihadists allied with al-Qaeda, the TTP has killed tens of thousands of Pakistani civilians and security forces in less than a decade. The military operation that started in 2014 brought the militants to Afghanistan’s mountainous border.
A report released by the UN Security Council in May 2022 said that the Pakistani Taliban, who tried to kill Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, are one of the most foreign militant groups in Afghanistan, which “would benefit most from the return of the Taliban to power. .”
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