At least 23 were killed and scores inured in a suicide blast during Friday prayers at a mosque in northwest Pakistan, officials told news agency PTI. Rescue teams and police rushed to the site of the blast. The bodies and those injured are being shifted to local hospitals.
The blast reportedly occured in the Payee Khan village near the Afghanistan border. The suicide bomber allegedly screamed “Allahu Akbar” and denoted himself inside a packed mosque, according to news agency Reuters.
“The suicide bomber was in crowded mosque, he shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest) and then there was a huge blast,” Naveed Akbar, deputy administrator of Mohmand agency, told Reuters.
Shaukat Khan, another official in the northwestern FATA region, said at least 24 people were wounded. “Many people were gathered inside the mosque where a suicide bomber blew himself up,” he said.
Pakistan’s frontier regions, which are deeply conservative and hard to access due to rough terrain, have long been the sanctuary of fighters from al Qaeda, the Taliban and other Islamist groups.
The attack came on a day when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to continue the war against militancy and terrorism till elimination of the last terrorist. During a meeting with Army chief General Raheel Sharif today, the prime minister expressed the resolve to continue the war against terrorism and militancy. The army had launched operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ in June 2014 to flush out militant bases in the northwestern tribal areas.