Peshawar, Dec 22: Pakistani police are hunting for clues to find out the main culprits behind Friday"s suicide bombing that killed some 50 people at a mosque in Charsadda District of the North-West Frontier Province.
Forensic scientists have been combing through the remains of the explosive device and the victims, who were part of a large crowd offering prayers for Eid al-Adha. An Islamic school in a nearby village was also raided and seven students have been arrested, sources said. Worshippers at the mosque were celebrating Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, when the suicide bomber blew himself up amongst the 1,000-strong crowd. Meanwhile, the NWFP Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Shareef Virk, has said that as many as 48 people lost their lives and over 114 others were injured in the suicide attack in the Sherpao area of Charsadda.
Virk said that seven to eight kilograms explosive was used in the blast. Responding to a question, Virk said that in blast of such intensity, clues are normally not found at the explosion site; and that is why the body parts of the suicide attacker could not be determined. "However, the teams of various investigation institutions are present in Jamia Masjid of Sherpao village and the evidences are being collected," he further said.
Virk said that a team led by Additional Inspector General Police Fayyaz Toor has been constituted to probe the incident. The inquiry team also comprises DIG Mardan Ghulam Mohammed, SSP Kashif Alam and members of bomb disposal squad. Virk said that the blast was a suicide attack.
Former Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao was the apparent target of the attack at the mosque in Charshadda Sherpao and his son escaped unhurt. His other son was injured in the leg. Investigators said Taliban or al Qaeda militants may be involved in the attack.
It is the second attempt on Sherpao's life since April when a suicide bomber blew himself up just a few feet from Sherpao during a political rally, killing at least 28 people.