Islamabad: A lone suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque packed with worshippers for Friday prayers in the restive Khyber region close to Afghanistan border killing at least 50 persons in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Pakistan that also completely destroyed the shrine.
About 100 persons were also injured in the attack on the mosque in Jamrud town in North West Pakistan (NWFP) where about 250 devouts had just begun their prayers. The country’s worst strike this year came hours before US President Barack Obama was due to unveil a revised strategy against terror havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Assistant political agent Fida Bangash of Khyber Agency told TV channels that at least 50 people were killed in the suicide attack. Among the dead in the mayhem were 15 members of the local political administration and the Khasadar force and a few security personnel.
Officials said the toll could rise since some victims were believed to be buried in the rubble. Some reports said 70 persons may have been killed.
The two-storey mosque, a popular stop for travelers motoring between Pakistan and Afghanistan and close to the border was completely destroyed, officials said.
According to Tariq Hayat, the top administration official in Khyber, the bomber was present inside the mosque and blew himself up when Friday prayers began. Some reports also said the attacker had rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the mosque, which is located near a Khasadar check post.