Bomb explodes in mosque in Pakistan

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 18, 2011 4:00 PM
Bomb explodes in mosque in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A bomb exploded in a mosque in the northwestern Pakistani town of Nowshera on Friday, killing at least nine people and wounding over 30, police and hospital officials said.

The blast took place when food was being distributed to the poor after midday Friday prayers.

"Many people had left the mosque after prayers. Otherwise losses would have been higher," said Adil Khan, a Nowshera police official.

Pakistan has seen a wave of suicide attacks in the past three years, many in the country's northwest frontier region with Afghanistan, where the Pakistan military is battling Taliban insurgents.

The army has launched a series of offensives over the past two years in Pakistan's northwest, which it says have weakened the Taliban.

Analysts, though, question their effectiveness because militants usually go on to establish strongholds elsewhere.

(Reporting by Izaz Mohmand, Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Chris Allbritton and Miral Fahmy)