Suicide bomber hits mosque in Pakistan, killing at least 24

pakistan-mapA suicide bomber touched off a deadly blast Friday inside a crowded mosque in Pakistan’s tribal area near the Afghan border, killing at least 24 people marking the end of a Muslim festival, a government official said.

Naveed Akbar, the assistant administrator in the area of the attack, predicted that the death toll could rise. More than two dozen people were reported wounded, many seriously, he said.

muslims-pray-to-celebrate-the-eid-al-adha-holiday-at-a-mosque-in-islamabad-pakistanThere was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the tribal areas are strongholds of various militant groups that include one faction blamed for recent assaults in the vicinity.

The attack came a day after a woman was killed in the same area, Mohmand district, when militants threw grenades at and opened fire on the house of a pro-government tribal elder, officials said.

The suicide bomber entered a village mosque as more than 300 worshipers were attending weekly prayers just after noon. Shouting “God is great,” he detonated the explosive, an official said.

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