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Suicide Bombing Kills At Least 24 At Mosque In Northwest Pakistan

  • RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

A suicide bomber has detonated his explosives in a crowded mosque in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, killing at least 24 people, including four children.

The attack occurred on September 16 during Friday Prayers at a mosque in the Mohmand tribal district, one of seven tribal districts along the porous border with Afghanistan.

At least 28 people were wounded in the village of Pai Khan​. About 200 worshippers were inside the mosque at the time of attack.

The wounded were transported to a hospital in neighboring Bajaur tribal district.

Spokesmen for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar — a breakaway Taliban faction — claimed responsibility for the attack in e-mailed statements. They claimed the attacker, who shouted "God is Great" as he entered the mosque, targeted members of a vigilante force that killed 13 of its members in 2009.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the bombing, saying the government would remain steadfast in its fight against extremists.

"The cowardly attacks by terrorists cannot shatter the government's resolve to eliminate terrorism from the country," he said.

The White House condemned the attack, saying it is an "appalling reminder that terrorism threatens all countries in the region," and said the United States would continue to work with Islamabad to fight terrorism.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and Dawn
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