Blast in Pakistani mosque kills 30 (Lead)

June 5th, 2009 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, June 5 (DPA) At least 30 people were killed and dozens injured Friday when an explosion ripped through a mosque in north-western Pakistan, an official said.
The blast occurred when the mosque in the Hayagai Sharqi area of the Upper Dir district was packed with worshippers gathered for Friday prayers.

The district’s top civilian administrator, Atif-ur-Rehman, said 30 people were confirmed dead while 60 to 70 were injured but the toll could rise. “The death toll could be as high as 40 to 45,” he said.

Rehman said initial reports indicated the blast was a suicide attack.

Aaj television reported that 10 to 12 children were among the dead. The blast partially demolished the mosque and damaged adjacent shops.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. But Taliban militants have in recent weeks carried out dozens of attacks in the North-West Frontier Province, where the government has launched a major operation to eliminate them in the Swat and Lower Dir districts. Lower Dir borders Upper Dir.

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