- Interior minister's statement comes as death toll from bomb blast rises to 62
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) police and investigation agencies have identified all three suspects connected to the suicide bomb blast in Peshawar's Kocha Risaldar area on Friday in which 62 people were killed, and nearly 200 injured, in one of the deadliest terrorists attacks in Pakistan in recent times.
In a video message posted on his Twitter handle on Saturday, the minister said that the officials have closed in on the suspects and will make arrests in one or two days.
Meanwhile, Aaj News reported that the death toll from the suicide blast has increased to 62. The Peshawar Counter-Terrorism Department has also registered an FIR in the suicide attack.
As per reports, two men were detained on Saturday over suspicion from the Kocha Risaldar area for questioning. The police said that sketches of the main suspect and his accomplices have been completed.
Several killed and 200 injured in suicide blast
On Friday, at least 62 people were killed and 200 injured, including children, in a suicide bomb blast in Peshawar's Kocha Risaldar area.
The explosion took place in a mosque near the imambargah during the time of Friday prayers.
Witnesses said gunfire could be heard prior to the explosion. As per Peshawar police, two men tried to enter a mosque and fired at the security personnel standing guard.
As a result, one policeman was martyred while the other was injured. Following this, one of the attackers blew himself up. CCTV footage released later showed a lone attacker clad in a black shalwar kameez reaching the mosque in the city’s Qissa Khwani Bazaar on foot and brandishing a pistol.
He opened fire on police personnel deployed outside the main entrance for security before running inside. The attacker also opened fire on a man who tried to stop him and managed to enter the mosque, where worshippers had gathered for Friday prayers, after which an explosion took place.
Later, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing in a statement, Reuters reported.
"Panic spread among the worshippers when the firing started. I ran to save my life," one man, who did not give his name, told Reuters at a hospital where he was being treated for his injuries.
"Suddenly a man came in and started firing ... he shot many people (and) then closed his eyes and blew himself up. After that, I have no idea what happened," he added.
Govt has information regarding 'origins of where terrorists came from'
In a late-night development after the bomb blast, Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet that he has been monitoring operations and coordinating with Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and intelligence agencies.
“Have personally been monitoring operations and coordinating with CTD and agencies in the wake of the cowardly terrorist attack on Peshawar Imambargah,” the premier said on Twitter.
“We now have all information regarding origins of where the terrorists came from and are going after them with full force,” he added.
'Extremism biggest reason behind terrorism'
Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that the biggest reason behind terrorism is extremism which is used by the enemy as a weapon.
In a tweet on Saturday, he stressed for consensus to tackle the menace of extremism.
Fawad further said the reason behind extremism is that the pulpit, educational institutions and police stations have not fulfilled their responsibilities.