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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Pakistan Mosque Explosion: Security breach or negligence?

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The suicide attack on a mosque in Peshawar has drawn attention to the precarious security situation in Pakistan’s tribal areas near the Afghan border. Monday’s blast targeted worshipers during afternoon prayers at a mosque inside a highly fortified police facility in the northwestern city. At least 101 people were killed in the attack, most of them police officers.

Authorities have launched “thorough investigations” to find out how the attacker entered the highly secured Police Lines area and if the bomber had inside help in carrying out the attack. On Tuesday, police said they made “major” arrests but gave no details. During a news conference, Moazzam Jah, inspector general of police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, acknowledged there was a clear “security breach” in the provincial capital despite multiple checkpoints.

Police Lines are where government buildings are located, including the governor’s house, central jail, provincial assembly, provincial high court, and Peshawar Corp Commander House. People entering the area have to pass through three checkpoints, and no one is allowed in without an invitation from residents. A police official at Police Lines expressed surprise at the security breach.

Shah pointed out that there are no scanners at the entrance that can detect potentially explosive materials. He said that “I didn’t see any scanners at the gate. But we also need to see if sniffer dogs were used. I set up a canine unit for exactly this purpose many years ago, and it is still the most reliable type of detection. ”

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