Peshawar: At least 38 people, including a former parliamentarian, were killed and nearly 50 others injured in a suicide attack on a mosque and two bombings
across northwest Pakistan on Monday, marking a spurt in militant violence after a relative lull over the past few weeks.
Former lawmaker Maulana Noor Muhammad was among 26
people killed when a suicide bomber targeted a mosque in the
volatile South Waziristan Agency. Local residents said he had
differences with the Taliban.
The attacker detonated his suicide jacket as Muhammad
was delivering a sermon to a group of worshippers in the
mosque at Wana, the headquarters of the tribal region.
About 30 others were injured in the attack.
Officials said the death toll could rise as many of
the injured were in a critical condition. The mosque, located
within a religious school run by Muhammad, was severely
damaged by the blast.
Witnesses said the bomber, who joined the
worshippers, suddenly blew himself up. They said they had seen
several bodies and human flesh and blood spattered on the
walls and floor of the mosque.
Maulana Noor Muhammad, a noted cleric who was
elected to the previous National Assembly or lower house of
parliament as an independent candidate, had survived several
attempts on his life.
Earlier in the day, eight persons were killed and 10
more injured when a bomb ripped through a jirga or tribal
council in the restive Kurram tribal region.
The remote-controlled blast occurred when the jirga
was meeting in Khomcha area to settle a dispute regarding the
ownership of a school. A school teacher who was acting as a
mediator was among those killed.
In the third attack, three members of a "peace
committee" or anti-Taliban militia and a child were killed and
six more injured when a roadside bomb went off in Mattani
area, 30 km south of provincial capital Peshawar.
Police said the bomb targeted a vehicle of the peace
committee. Police launched a search for the attackers. No
group claimed responsibility for the three attacks.
In a separate incident, security forces arrested four
militants and destroyed their hideout during an operation in
Shal Gazyan area of Kurram Agency.
Hundreds of people have died in clashes between rival
Shia and Sunni tribesmen in the Kurram Agency since late 2007.