Taliban bomb mosque in Peshawar, kill 5

The Pakistani Taliban killed five people in a bombing today at a mosque in the northwestern provincial capital of Peshawar. Today’s attack follows a recent upswing in attacks on security forces by the terror group.

The bomb was detonated during Friday prayers in an effort to maximize casualties; in addition to the dead, 22 people were wounded in the bombing. The explosive device had been planted in the mosque by the Taliban prior to the service.

Some Pakistani officials downplayed the bombing, however, and claimed that the Taliban have been defeated during a recent security operation in Peshawar. While condemning the blast, Basher Ahmad Bilour, the senior minister for Khyber-Paktunkha province, said the culprits would soon be arrested as a search operation had been launched.

“Terrorists have lost courage,” Bilour told Pajwhok Afghan News. “Their back is broken that’s why they target mosques, schools and other such places.”

But the Taliban have been able to carry out several attacks in Peshawar and the surrounding tribal agencies over the past week. Two days ago, Taliban fighters wounded a policeman in a grenade attack in Peshawar. And on Oct. 15, the Taliban bombed a school in Peshawar.

The Taliban have also stepped up attacks against security forces in the nearby tribal areas. Today, the Taliban killed six Frontier Corps troops in Arakzai. Yesterday, the Taliban killed three more of the paramilitary soldiers in Khyber. And in South Waziristan, five Pakistani soldiers were killed on Oct. 15, and three more were killed on Oct. 19.

Taliban target religious sites

Over the past few years, the Taliban and allied Pakistani terror groups have shown no reservations about striking inside mosques and other religious sites, as well as during religious processions and events [see list below]. There have been 27 major attacks on mosques and other Islamic institutions in Pakistan since December 2007, according to information compiled by The Long War Journal.

One of the most brazen attacks took place on Dec. 4, 2009, when a suicide assault team stormed a mosque frequented by military officers in Rawalpindi. Two senior generals were among the 40 people killed. The last such attack took place on Aug. 23, when a suicide bomber detonated inside a mosque in Wana in South Waziristan. More than 30 people, including a pro-government and pro-Taliban former member of parliament, were killed.

Suicide bombers also struck the Data Ganj Bakhsh shrine in Lahore on July 1, 2010, killing 41 people and wounding more than 170. Three suicide bombers detonated their vests at the shrine at a time when it is most frequented.

The last such attack took place on Oct. 7, when two suicide bombers killed eight people at a Sufi shrine in in Karachi.

Major attacks at mosques, religious events, and Islamic institutions in Pakistan since December 2007:

Oct. 22, 2010: Five people were killed when an IED was detonated inside a mosque in Peshawar.

Oct. 7, 2010: Two suicide bombers killed eight people in a coordinated attack on the Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine in Karachi.

Sept. 3, 2010: A suicide bomber attempted to storm a mosque in Mardan, but was stopped by security guards. One person was killed after he detonated his vest.

Sept. 1, 2010: Suicide bombers detonated during Shia religious processions in Lahore, killing 28 people.

Aug. 23, 2010: A suicide bomber detonated at a mosque in Wana, South Waziristan, killing 18 people.

July 1, 2010: Suicide bombers detonated at the Data Ganj Bakhsh shrine in Lahore, killing 41 people and wounding more than 170.

May 28, 2010: The Punjabi Taliban assaulted two Ahamadi mosques in Lahore, killing more than 70 people.

Dec. 18, 2009: A suicide bomber detonated inside a mosque frequented by policemen in Lower Dir, killing 12.

Dec. 4, 2009: A suicide assault team stormed a mosque in Rawalpindi that is frequented by Army officers, killing 40.

Oct. 20, 2009: A pair of suicide bombers detonated their vests at Islamabad’s International Islamic University, killing five.

June 12, 2009: A suicide bomber killed five Pakistanis, including anti-Taliban cleric Dr. Sarfraz Naeemi, in an attack on a mosque in Lahore during Friday prayers.

June 12, 2009: A suicide bomber killed six worshipers and wounded more than 90 in an attack inside a mosque in Nowshera. The attack collapsed the dome of the mosque.

June 5, 2009: A suicide bomber killed 49 worshipers in an attack on a mosque in a remote village in Dir.

April 5, 2009: A suicide bomber killed 24 worshipers and wounded more than 100 in an attack outside a Shia religious center in the Chakwal district in Punjab province.

March 27, 2009: A Taliban suicide bomber killed more than 70 worshipers and wounded more than 125 in an attack at a mosque in the Khyber tribal agency.

March 5, 2009: An attacker threw a hand grenade into the middle of a mosque in Dera Ismail Khan, wounding 25 worshipers.

March 2, 2009: A suicide bomber killed six people during an attack at a gathering in a mosque in the Pishin district in Baluchistan.

Feb. 20, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 32 Pakistanis and wounded more than 85 in an attack on a funeral procession for a Shia elder who was murdered in Dera Ismail Khan.

Feb. 5, 2009: A suicide attack outside a mosque killed more than 30 Shia worshipers and wounded more than 50.

Nov. 22, 2008: A bombing at a mosque in Hangu killed five civilians and wounded seven.

Nov. 21, 2008: A suicide attack on a funeral procession in Dera Ismail Khan killed 10 mourners and wounded more than 25.

Sept. 10, 2008: The Taliban attacked a mosque filled with Ramadan worshipers in the district of Dir in northwestern Pakistan. More than 25 worshipers were killed and more than 50 were wounded.

Aug. 19, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 29 Shia mourners and wounded 35 after detonating in the emergency ward of a hospital.

June 17, 2008: Four Pakistanis were killed and three wounded in a bombing at a Shia mosque in Dera Ismail Khan.

May 19, 2008: Four Pakistanis were killed in a bombing outside a mosque in Bajaur.

Jan. 17, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 10 and wounded 25 in an attack on a Shia mosque in Peshawar.

Dec. 28, 2007: A suicide bomber detonated in the middle of a mosque in Charsadda in an attempt to kill former Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao as he conducted Eid prayers. More than 50 were killed and more than 200 were wounded.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

Tags: ,

9 Comments

  • ED says:

    STILL PAKISTAN OPERATES UNDER THE ILLUSION THEY CAN CONTROL THE TALIBAN MILITANTS AND THE ILLUSION THEY ARE OR CAN BE A NATIONAL ASSET.
    I WONDER N HOW MUCH OF THE UNREST IN KARCHI IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE TALIBAN ELIMINATING MODERATES WITHIN THE POLITICAL PARTIES.
    HOW MANY OF THE RECENT KILLINGS IN QUETTA CAN BE TRACED TO THE TALIBAN.
    UNTIL PAKISTAN TAKES ON ALL THESE GROUPS THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TROUBLE.
    THE TALIBAN WILL NOT WIN BUT PAKISTAN WILL RUN RED WITH BLOOD.

  • Infidel4LIFE says:

    setting off a bomb at a mosque, damn that sure is brave. Where are the moderate moslems? Why do they not speak out? This is wat cowards do. NATO must have them on the run. I hope they dispose of every last one of them. They EARNED it.

  • Nic says:

    Any info on the sect that owned the mosque? Additionally, is there a list of the mosques that have been hit in the past that would indicate which sect is hit the most down to any sect that may never have been hit? Do the Paks get upset if a Qur’an is damaged in these bombings?

  • kp says:

    This doesn’t look like a very “good” attack: 3 or 4 killed and most of the 22 wounded had slight injuries. From two remotely detonated bombs (i.e. no suicide bombers available? or just trying to defeat mosque security?). Not a good “yield” but apparently it was only a small bomb (3lb).

    //www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=119869&Itemid=38

    //www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/7099651-blast-at-mosque-in-peshawar

    Says the bombs where on the mosque’s verandah so planted outside and targeting people leaving in the open rather than a concentrated mass inside the mosque. From the phots it looks like this is the area where the worshippers leave their shoes before entering the mosque.

    The best info identifies this as “Chatolara Mosque during Juma prayer in Pushta Khara wala area of Peshawar”

    The Pashta khara or Pashtakhara district of Peshwhar seems to have had several bomb attacks now.

  • jim2 says:

    Were any copies of the Koran burned or damaged?

  • Doug says:

    Hmmm…very interesting comments. I keep wondering how long Pakistan can continue with this path? Why does the population do nothing about this? Does the population have any ability to think for themselves? I have only known one Pak in my life and he was a graduate student teaching a chemistry lab I was in. This guy was the butt of everybody’s jokes because he was arrogant, rude and abrupt. I’ve never forgotten my impression of him and therefore I’ve never had much emphathy or sympathy for Pakistanis. Funny how one individual can warp a person’s perspective of an entire population group.

  • steve m. says:

    the average pakistani believes that usa/israel/india are the ones carrying out these bombings.

  • Sumit says:

    @Steve
    Very true, In fact all the Urdu media in Pakistan blaims US/India/Israel for all bombing, they say no muslims can kill other muslims. lol

  • Spooky says:

    Nationally, that is true. However, locals in the area of the bombing know the truth. After all, the attack was meant to silence them.
    However, the vast poor of the country have no dog in the fight. The Pakistani media serve the middle class, the upper class rules with an iron fist.

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis