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Second deadly mosque attack in Pakistan

By Reza Sayah, CNN
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Police: Mosque attack a militant message
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The incidents took place during Friday prayers
  • One blast targeted anti-Taliban members
  • Both strikes occurred in the northwestern region
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Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Authorities in Pakistan are reporting a second deadly mosque attack Friday in the country's volatile northwestern region, a strike that killed four people and injured 18 others.

This follows a fatal blast that killed at least 67 people and wounded more than 80 others in a suicide attack that targeted anti-Taliban members at another mosque in the northwest, said government official Khalid Umarzai.

Both incidents occurred in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, with the latest taking place during Friday prayers at Salman Khel village on the outskirts of Peshawar.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, provincial information minister, said four hand grenades were hurled into the mosque there.

The earlier incident occurred in Darra Adam Khel, about 40 kilometers south of Peshawar, during Friday prayers, a strike claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, which was targeting a local anti-Taliban group.

Police said the group, known as a peace committee, had formed in the area and the Taliban had targeted some of the members.

Tariq Afridi, a local Taliban chief of Darra Adam Khel, said in a telephone call that the Taliban warned members of local peace committees many times through letters and calls not to support the Pakistani military.

He said they asked them to dismantle all the peace committees and when they didn't, they faced the result.

"Whoever supports the military will see its results," Afridi said.

Speaking of the suicide attack, Hussain said "the attackers are wild, not human; anything can be expected from them."

"Militants can't be eliminated until the U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan share information."

The Darra Adam Khel area is an ungoverned region plagued by militancy, just east of the country's volatile tribal region near Afghanistan.

The impact of the blast brought the mosque roof down. The injured were being treated in Peshawar.

 
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