Explosion in Pakistan mosque kills dozens

Friday, June 5, 2009

A bomb blast at a mosque in northwestern Pakistan is suspected to have killed at least forty people on Friday.

According to police reports, the explosion happened in a village located in the Upper Dir district of the North-West Frontier Province. The incident occurred while worshipers were offering the Friday prayers.

"Around 40 people are killed. We have no idea as yet how many have been wounded," said Atif-ur-Rehman, a senior government administrator of Upper Dir.

The mosque was damaged heavily by the explosion, and many people have been trapped under debris.

"A large number of body parts are scattered in the mosque. We don't know whether these are parts of the dead who have been identified or of others," said Umer Rehman, one of the village's residents, to the Reuters news agency.

This is the ninth bomb blast in Pakistan since the country's armed forces started attacks against the [[|Pakistani Talian|Taliban]] in the nearby Swat valley from the past few months, in an attempt to force the fighters out of the area.

President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani both condemned the attack. The London-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief, Altaf Hussain, has also condemned the blast.