40 Dead in Pakistan Suicide Attack

Suicide bomber hits mosque during Friday prayers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 19, 2011 10:03 AM CDT
People are seen inside a mosque targeted by a suicide bomber in Ghundi, in the Pakistani tribal area of Khyber, Friday, Aug 19, 2011.   (Qazi Rauf)
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(Newser) – A suicide bomber struck a mosque in a Pakistani tribal region during Friday prayers, officials said, killing at least 40 people and wounding 85 others in the deadliest attack in the country in recent weeks. Some 300 people had gathered for prayers this afternoon in the Sunni mosque, and many were on their way out when the explosion occurred. "All the evidence we have gathered confirms that it is a suicide attack," a local official said.

TV footage from the scene showed a heavily damaged building. Prayer caps, shoes, and green prayer mats were scattered across a blood-splattered floor, while ceiling fans were twisted and walls blackened. No group immediately claimed responsibility, but the Taliban and other Islamist militants have previously targeted mosques. The attack came during the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting, sharing, and heightened community spirit for Muslims.

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