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Death toll of suicide blast in NW Pakistan rises to 23
Death toll of the suicide blast that hit a mosque in northwest Pakistan on Friday afternoon has risen to 23, officials said.
Deputy Administrator of the region, Naveed Akbar, said that the death toll rose after seven of the injured succumbed to injuries during treatment at different hospitals, adding that at least 29 others were also injured in the blast that ripped through the mosque during Friday prayer.
"Death toll may further rises as six of the injured are still in critical condition," said the official.
According to Akbar, the incident took place when a suicide bomber entered the mosque and exploded his explosives laden vest amid people who were offering Friday prayer in Paye Khan village in Anbar area in Mohmand Agency, Pakistan's northwest tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
According to local media reports, around 70 to 80 people were offering prayer in the mosque when the blast took place in the remote area of Paye Khan.
Security forces have launched a search operation in the region to arrest the suicide bomber's facilitators, especially those who provided him shelter and dropped him near the mosque before the attack.
Bomb disposal squad said that around 5-7 kilograms of explosives along with ball bearings was used in the blast.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast, saying "the cowardly attacks by terrorists cannot shatter the government's resolve to eliminate terrorism from the country."
Earlier on Sept. 2, at least 14 people including six lawyers and two policemen were killed and 52 others injured in a suicide attack at district courts in Pakistan's northwest district of Mardan.
On Sept. 13, police foiled a terrorist attack at a mosque during Eid prayer when two suicide bombers attempted to enter a mosque in Shikarpur district in the country's southern province of Sindh.
At least 13 people were injured when one of the suicide bombers exploded his jacket after policemen shot him, while the second bomber was arrested by the policemen.
[Source: Xinhua, Islamabad, 16Sep16]
Islamic paramilitary organizations
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