IS ‘prime suspect’ for Peshawar seminary bombing

Published October 30, 2020
A rescue worker examines remains at the site of a blast at a madressah in Peshawar on October 27. — AFP/File
A rescue worker examines remains at the site of a blast at a madressah in Peshawar on October 27. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: The Islamic State, a militant outfit, is the prime suspect for the Peshawar seminary bomb blast in light of initial investigations, the provincial government was informed during a meeting on Thursday.

The high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan was called over the Zubbariyah Madrassah bombing, which had killed eight students and around 120 others injured on Tuesday morning.

A senior official told Dawn requesting anonymity that the participants discussed the threat perception in the wake of the bomb blast and the recent regrouping of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

He said the chief minister was informed that Zubbariyah Madrassah administrator Sheikh Rahimuddin Haqqani was vocal against the Islamic State and had issued several fatwas (decrees) against it.

The meeting was also informed that the Sheikh Haqqani, who survived the attack, was on the hit list of the IS, which had attempted to kill him in the past.

Investigators say explosive, timed device used in blast apparently smuggled from Afghanistan

“These things made the IS the prime suspect for bomb attack,” the official said.

He said the initial investigations had revealed that the ‘military grade’ explosive or TNT was used in the timed detonation and both of the explosive and timed device were not available locally and were apparently smuggled from Afghanistan.

The official said after being ‘badly battered’ in Afghanistan, the Islamic Sate seemed to be trying to make for losses by reasserting themselves in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, a statement issued here said the meeting was attended by chief secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, home secretary Ikramullah, Peshawar commissioner Amjid Ali Khan and senior police officials.

The participants were briefed about the current security situation in the province and security arrangements made to prevent terrorist attacks.

The statement said Chief Minister Mahmood Khan declared security of the public life and property the government’s foremost duty and top priority and said there won’t be any compromise on peace in the province and all resources would be utilised for the purpose.Mr Mahmood said the seminary bomb blast was an attempt to spoil the peaceful atmosphere of the province but the government would maintain law and order at all costs.

He directed the police to ensure fool proof security arrangements and further improve their intelligence system to preempt terrorist attacks.

Earlier, seminary administrator Sheikh Haqqani, in a message on Facebook Live, a video streaming feature of the social networking website, had pointed the finger at the Islamic State for the bomb blast.

He, however, didn’t name the militant outfit explicitly.

“Neither it was the first Kharijite attack nor would it be the last one,” the cleric said in the message in an apparent reference to the Islamic State.

He, however, said, “we would not retreat from our mission despite the attack.”

Meanwhile, a delegation of the religious educational boards met the city police’s officials to chalk out a strategy for the security of the local religious schools.

The police officials briefed visitors about the steps being taken for the security of seminaries.

The delegates assured the police of their support and cooperation for maintaining peace and law and order in the city.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2020

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