Pakistan Police Say IS Suicide Bomber That Killed 64 People Was Afghan

Pakistani police say that the Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber, who killed 64 worshippers inside a Shia mosque during Friday prayers in the northwestern city of Peshawar, was an exile Afghan who returned home to train for the attack.

On March 4, IS in a statement, had claimed responsibility for the bombing that also left nearly 200 people wounded. It was one of the biggest attacks carried out by the IS group inside Pakistan.

Haroon Rashed, senior police official said that an armed man who arrived near the mosque on a motorcycle first opened fire on police, guarding the mosque, before forcing his way into a crowded hall and detonating his suicide vest.

Two senior Pakistani police officials told AFP that the suicide bomber had trained and prepared the attack in Afghanistan.

The officials said the attacker was an Afghan national in his 30s who moved to Pakistan with his family decades ago. “The bomber went to Afghanistan, trained there and returned without informing his family,” one of the senior police officials said.

“Islamic IS is becoming a strong threat for us, they are operating from Afghanistan but they have sleeping cells here,” he added.

IS extremist group has been active for years in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the group carried out several suicide bombings in Afghanistan as well that killed and wounded hundreds of people.

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