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October 29, 2020

35 arrested in search operations after Peshawar blast

Peshawar

October 29, 2020

PESHAWAR: Around 35 suspects were arrested in seven search and strike operations in the provincial capital as fresh security audits of sensitive places were ordered and advisories issued to high profile individuals a day after the bomb blast at the madrassah in Dir Colony.

Eight people were martyred and over 90 were wounded in the powerful explosion caused by explosives hidden in a bag that occurred in the main hall of the Jamia Zubairia in Dir Colony near Ring Road. Officials said the security at entry and exit points in Peshawar and other districts had been upgraded and patrolling increased. “Search operations and intelligence-based actions have also been increased,” said an official. He said seven search and strike operations were conducted by the police and army in the last 24 hours after the blast, rounding up 35 suspects. “Besides, fresh security advisories were issued to all the important individuals while the superintendents of police (SPs) concerned conducted security audits of sensitive places in their areas,” Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Mohammad Ali Gandapur told The News.

The case of the seminary attack has already been lodged at the police station of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and some suspects have been rounded up from the area after the attack. An official said recently six search operations were conducted in the Dir Colony area during which 42 suspects were rounded up.

The official informed that a total of 243 search operations, 407 intelligence-based actions and 477 combing activities were conducted in Peshawar during the current year. A number of political leaders visited the Jamia Zubairia, which is part of the Spin Jumaat mosque, on the second day after the attack to express solidarity with the victims. Everybody in the area was in a shock and mourning after the tragic attack as many related it to a similar attack on education and future generations targetting the Army Public School, Peshawar in December 16, 2014.

All those who died in the blast were laid to rest in their native towns. Those martyred and wounded hailed from different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Afghanistan. Some of the witnesses recalled how they just escaped the attack or remained unharmed while their friends either died or were injured. One Qari Kamran said he was present in the hall when the bomb went off. He received minor injuries and was in a shock after seeing the post-blast scenes at the mosque. “I am not feeling well and have told my family to leave me alone for some time,” he said. Another student recalled his friend Musa breathed his last while reciting Kalma Shahadat. Another student said that his roommate Muhibullah was in a hurry on Tuesday to rush to the class where he embraced martyrdom in the explosion.

Reports said a security advisory was already issued to the mosque and seminary following recent threat alerts. Reports said the security of the seminary was increased following the advisory, but the terrorist entered the mosque in the guise of a student and left the explosives in a school bag before leaving the hall.

A large number of students from other provinces and Afghanistan were also enrolled in the seminary to get Islamic education. Shaikh Rahimullah Haqqani, the teacher who was delivering a lecture on Ahadith (sayings of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him), miraculously survived the attack.

In a statement later, he blamed the “Khwarij” (Kharjites or those who defected the group) for the attack and recalled that their forefathers had martyred Hazrat Usman and Hazrat Ali, the third and fourth caliph, respectively, of Islam, and now they were targetting true followers of our religion, including teachers and students of madrassahs. He prayed and hopes that those martyred in the blast would go to paradise as they were innocent and had left their homes to receive Islamic education. However, he didn’t name any group or person for the attack.