Factbox: Peshawar, Pakistan's 'city of flowers', long marred by militant violence

Jan 31 (Reuters) - Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, where a suicide bomber attacked a crowded mosque during Monday prayers, has been marred by militant violence for decades.

Here are some facts about the city, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan's smallest province by land area and the third most populous province after Punjab and Sindh.

* Peshawar, home to about two million people, is located in northwest Pakistan, just 55 km (miles) east of the Pakistan-Afghan border crossing of Torkham along the Khyber Pass. Throughout its history, the city has played a major role in linking central Asia, India and beyond.

* Peshawar has a rich history dating back to Mughal times, and was once renowned as a liberal, cultural centre that was home to a large Sikh community. The city is famous for its bazaars and churches and is known as the "city of flowers" because of the many gardens built during the Mughal era.

* Peshawar sits on the edge of the Pashtun tribal lands, a region mired in violence since the launch of the U.S.-led war on al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

* One of the worst attacks in the city was twin suicide bombings in 2013 at the All Saints Church that killed scores of worshippers, the deadliest on Pakistan's Christian minority.

* The most active militant group in the area is the Pakistani Taliban, also called Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella group for Sunni and sectarian Islamist factions opposed to the government in Islamabad.

* Peshawar has enjoyed relative calm in the last few years after several Pakistani military offensives on the tribal areas, but residents remain on alert and there are military and police checkpoints throughout the city.

Reporting by Jibran Ahmad; writing by Miral Fahmy; editing by Nick Macfie

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