ISLAMABAD, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Pakistani police have found a network of terrorists behind the deadly suicide bombing on a mosque in the northwest Peshawar city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, a senior police official said on Thursday.
KP Police Chief Moazzam Jah Ansari told a press conference that the police were close to tracing the terror network behind the attack, saying "we know the people responsible for it. We know the handlers and the operators as well."
Talking about how the suicide bomber managed to get into the highly sensitive area of the city, Ansari said the attacker was clad in a police uniform, and the personnel at the entrance gate let him in thinking he is associated with the police force.
"At about 12:37 p.m. he (suicide bomber) arrived at the main gate on a motorcycle wearing helmet, came inside, talked to a constable and asked him where the mosque is. This means that the attacker was not aware of the area ... he was given a target and there is an entire network behind him," the official said.
He said the head of the suicide bomber and ball bearings used in a suicide jacket have been recovered from the debris of the damaged mosque, adding that 10-12 kg of highly explosive TNT were used in the explosion.
The blast was so powerful that the shockwaves did not find ways to escape, causing the roof of the mosque building crashing down on worshippers, a major reason behind the large number of casualties, he added.
He said the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar faction of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is behind the attack according to evidences collected so far.
"The TTP claimed responsibility for the blast for which the reasons are clear. But then they disowned it. It seems that they consulted among the group and realized that they will be criticized for attacking a mosque," he said.
On Monday, a powerful blast ripped through a crowded mosque in Peshawar, killing at least 100 worshippers and wounding more than 200 others, according to hospital and police officials.