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At least 8 die in blast at Pakistani mosque

By Sophia Saifi and Zahir Shah Sherazi, CNN
updated 1:48 PM EST, Thu January 16, 2014
Pakistani policemen and Islamists gather outside a preaching center after a bomb explosion in Peshawar on Thursday.
Pakistani policemen and Islamists gather outside a preaching center after a bomb explosion in Peshawar on Thursday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Child among 8 killed in Peshawar mosque blast, hospital says; dozens injured
  • Explosion happened during evening prayers, police say
  • An undetonated bomb was found at a mosque Thursday about 30 miles away, police say

(CNN) -- An explosion ripped through a northern Pakistan mosque where people had gathered for evening prayers Thursday, killing eight people -- including a child -- and injuring 67 others, officials said.

The incident occurred in the city of Peshawar, the minister of health in the region, Shaukat Yousafzai, told CNN. A child was among those killed, according to officials at Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital.

The blast was under investigation, though police and intelligence officials said they believed it was caused by a bomb. The explosion happened at the start of what was supposed to be an overnight service in which congregants were to attend evening prayers, listen to a nighttime sermon and sleep there.

Also Thursday, an undetonated bomb was found in a mosque in Nowshera, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Peshawar, police said.

People found the bomb in a tin container near the mosque's entrance before evening prayers and notified authorities, police said. A bomb disposal unit defused the device, police spokesman Turk Ali Shah said.

Pakistan, where militants have a strong presence, has long been beset by violence.

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