Peshawar mosque bomber used police uniform as disguise: IGP

PESHAWAR     –   Inspector General of Police (IGP) Moazzam Jah Ansari said on Thursday that they are chasing the terrorists who were behind the terrorist attack on the Police Lines. He said that he along with his entire force was grieved at the incident as many children were rendered orphans by Monday’s bombing at the mosque in Police Lines. However, he added that that promoting baseless rumours and speculations regarding the attack were adding to their grief amid the ongoing investigations.

“One rumour being aired is that it might be a drone strike. If it were a drone strike, how the roof of the mosque remained intact? There is not even a hole in the roof that has collapsed as a whole in the blast,” stated the police chief, as he turned emotional during his media talk saying that speculations and untrue information being circulated in the media emotionally hurt him and the entire police force in these testing times.

He said the explosives in the suicide bomber’s vest were almost 12kg and it was TNT explosive (trinitro toluene). “Because it was a closed hall where a prayer leader was leading the faithful in prayer, the bombing shock broke the walls and while there were no pillars, the roof collapsed to the ground,” he added.

He also said that the entire rescue operation for removing the debris could have been completed within three to four hours, but it was to be delayed in order to save lives of those who were trapped under the debris.

He also said that some speculated about the delay in CCTV footage, but that there were thousands of phones whose geo-fencing is also taking time during the ongoing investigations and in total, there are hundreds of thousands of calls from those phones being probed, which required time.

He said that while watching the CCTV footage around and inside the Police Lines, he had identified the bomber, who was wearing police uniform, a mask and a helmet while entering the premises at 12:36pm on Monday.

“Both the person in the footage and the bomber’s body found at the blast site have matched and we have even traced the bomber’s motorcycle, whose number had been tempered with and next stage is his identification as well as his network’s location to bring them to justice,” he said.

He added that the investigators have also recovered ball bearings, which are normally used in suicide bombings.

“After entering the Police Lines, the bomber also spoke to a policeman asking him where the mosque was located in the lines, before going there and detonating his vest,” he said.

 He said the KP police was a force of martyrs as it remained on the forefront in the war against terrorism. He said some elements misguided some of the cops who protested to demand “protection” the other day. He said the police knew their defence and they can trace and punish their enemies who were behind the Police Lines bombing as the suicide bomber has already been ascertained during the probe conducted so far.

On the occasion, CCPO Ijaz Khan appealed to media not to air fake news, as he said recently a fake news was attributed to him recently stating that the explosives had been shifted into the Police Lines in an official vehicle. He said he did not issue such a statement and requested the media to confirm facts before running a news report.

He said: “It’s my failure, not of the cops deployed at the gates. Numerous people come to Police Lines to meet CCPO and SSP Operations with their complaints and this security failure took place, which I admit.”

Regarding the theories of “planted bomb” and possible “drone strike,” he clarified that those were untrue and that it was a suicide bombing as they recovered ball bearings too recently. But yes, he admitted the security failure.

Also, CCTV footage of the bomber is circulating on social media, wearing police uniform, with a helmet and motorbike too.

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