25 killed in Pakistan suicide blast (Lead)

February 17th, 2012 - 8:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 17 (IANS) At least 25 people were killed and over 50 others were injured in a suicide blast that hit a mosque Friday in Pakistan’s northwest tribal Kurram Agency that borders Afghanistan, media reports said.

The attack took place at about 1.50 p.m. local time when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a mosque located near a market place in Parachinar city in Kurram Agency, Xinhua reported citing Urdu TV channel Express.

A large number of people were offering Friday prayers inside the mosque when the blast took place.

Express quoted district headquarter hospital sources as saying that 25 people have been confirmed dead and over 50 others were injured. Many of the injured are in critical condition and the death toll could rise further.

The blast also damaged many shops near the mosque, said the report.

Despite a search operation launched by the police following the blast, the identity of the suicide bomber is still not known.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

The blast is the third in Pakistan over the last two days.

On Thursday, two suicide blasts were reported in northwest Pakistan. One was in Upper Dir in which three local pro-government militiamen were killed and seven others injured. The other was in Peshawar, the largest city in northwest Pakistan, in which a suicide bomber hit a patrolling police vehicle at the outskirts of the city, wounding five policemen.

No group claimed responsibility for both attacks which happened at a time when the Afghan president and the Iranian president were in Pakistan for a two-day trilateral summit in Islamabad.

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