9th March 2022
With 63 now confirmed dead in the suicide bomb attack on Peshawar’s Kucha Risaldar imambargah last Friday, March 4, at least one more person unfortunate enough to have been caught in the blast is currently battling for his life in a hospital.
A majority of those killed in the attack hailed from Peshawar and Kurram district.
Muzaffar Ali Shah who lost three nephews in the incident, Akhunzada Mujahid, Ali Jan and Mazhar Ali Mumtaz, has demanded an inquiry into the incident. Ali Jan leaves behind three young daughters and a son.
“Pakistanis are my brothers, I have no enemies. This country’s institutions are my brothers. We want justice, give us justice. Only [the State] can give us justice, no one else,” Muzaffar strongly appealed to the authorities. “This is not something that should be kept under wraps. Whose hands should I say are stained with my blood?”
He lamented that terrorists are caught and released arbitrarily, however it is the families who have to bear the burden of carrying out funeral processions of their loved ones.
Ali Jan’s brother-in-law, Jamal, told Voicepk.net that they would meet every Friday after prayers. On the day of the incident, he had informed him beforehand that he would pay a visit. However instead of Ali Jan walking through the front door that day, it was his family members carrying in his corpse.
“We were having dinner Thursday night, and he told me he would come visit after Friday prayers,” he said before breaking down and excusing himself from the interview.
On March 5, IS-Khorasan, an offshoot of the Islamic State (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack in a post published in the ISIL-affiliated newspaper Amaq. The same day, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid announced via Twitter that three suspects – the suicide bomber and two facilitators – seen in CCTV footage of the incident had been successfully identified.
On March 8, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed to have eliminated three alleged IS-Khorasan terrorists with the aid of other law enforcement agencies during an operation at the Regi Lalma area of the Peshawar-Khyber border. According to the CTD, the killed militants were also involved in terror attacks against law enforcement agencies which claimed the lives of police personnel.
A cache of weapons and ammunition was also recovered.
IS-Khorasan has claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks and target killings against religious and sectarian minorities in Bajaur, Waziristan, Kohat and Peshawar.