Suicide Blast Close To Mosque Kills 8 In Pakistan

Published February 17, 2012 11:00AM (EST)

PARACHINAR, Pakistan (AP) — A suicide attacker on a motorcycle blew himself up close to a mosque in northwest Pakistan on Friday, killing at least eight people, officials said.

The motive for the blast in the town of Parachinar, close to the Afghan border, was not immediately clear but in the past, Sunni militants have attacked civilians who do not support them or members of different Muslim sects.

Dr Habibullah Khan said his hospital received eight bodies and was treating close to 50 wounded in the explosion, which happened as noon prayers ended and worshippers were streaming out of the local mosque.

State-run Pakistan TV reported that 15 people had been killed but that figure could not be immediately confirmed.

The blast destroyed shops in the market, trapping some people, said local government administrator Wajid Ali.

Bombings have killed thousands of Pakistanis over the last five years. Most of the attacks have been carried out by Sunni Islamist militants based in the northwest. The army has responded with several offensives, with only limited success.

By Salon Staff

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