Date: January 31, 2023
*Death toll updated since this article was published.
Pakistan (MNN) — Over 100 people are dead and 217 wounded after a suicide bomber struck a mosque in Pakistan on Monday.
It is one of the deadliest attacks the nation has seen.
The bombing took place in Peshawar, a volatile city in northwestern Pakistan. The mosque is inside a fortified police compound and is mostly attended by law enforcement personnel. There were up to 400 people packed into the mosque for prayers when the bomber detonated.
Nehemiah* with FMI says, “It was learned that a portion of the building had collapsed and several people are believed to be under it.”
It didn’t take long for terrorists with Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) to claim the bombing.
Nehemiah says, “The Pakistani Taliban had taken responsibility for the attack and they mentioned that they have taken revenge because one of their commanders was killed last year in August. So this is a revenge attack in Pakistan.”
Situated in a “Red Zone,” it’s supposed to be one of the most secure areas of the city. An inquiry is already underway to find out how the bomber got past several layers of security.
“It is one of the most tightly controlled areas of the city housing intelligence and the counterterrorism bureau, and it is next door to the regional secretariat. More than 1,000 policemen are always there for duty. It is a highly, highly secure place.”
Pakistan is no stranger attacks like this. They often take the form of terrorism, sectarian violence, and religious persecution.
FMI trains and equips local believers in Pakistan for Gospel ministry. Nehemiah says, “Our FMI partners who are serving in these difficult and hard situations — cities like Peshawar or provinces like KPK — are ready to sacrifice their lives. These bomb blasts are not always in the mosques. We have seen that most of these blasts are in the markets and bazaars and museums, everywhere.”
While Pakistani Christians need to be cautious in ministry, they are the hands and feet of Jesus to heartbroken communities and families in times like this.
Nehemiah asks, “Pray for…our partners so they can testify about Jesus Christ, that He is really the Prince of Peace.”
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Header photo courtesy of Kaufdex via Pixabay.