Pakistan Suicide Bombing Kills Moderate Cleric

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2009 12:38 PM CDT
In this undated photo, Pakistan's prominent religious cleric Sarfraz Naeemi is seen. Naeemi was killed today in a suicide bombing.   (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
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(Newser) – One of Pakistan’s most prominent anti-Taliban clerics was killed today in a suicide bomb attack, the Times of London reports. Sarfraz Ahmed Naeemi, who supported the Pakistan army’s campaign in the Swat Valley, died on the way to the hospital after an explosion at his Islamic college in Lahore. “There was blood and several people were crying in pain,” Naeemi’s son said.

Another attack around the same time killed three people in a Nowshera mosque. Authorities say the bombings are the Taliban’s revenge against their opponents; Naeemi last month established a 22-group alliance against the Taliban, and he appeared to be the target of today's attack. “It could not be an act of a Muslim to carry out an attack in a mosque,” a police chief said, denouncing the violence.