Attack on mosque kills 30 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan

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Friday, December 4, 2009

An attack on a mosque has killed at least 32 people, near Pakistan's military headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi. There have been conflicting accounts of the attack, but police reported gunfire and at least one explosion at the mosque soon after prayers on Friday morning. It is thought that one or more suicide bombers may have been involved.

Location of the Rawalpindi district in Pakistan.

The attack took place at the Parade Lane mosque, in a part of the city containing several defence department buildings. Security workers cordoned off the scene while ambulances rushed to take victims to the hospital.

"There was certainly more than one attacker, so there is a possibility that some of them may still be hiding in the vicinity," said Athar Abbas, a spokesman for the military.

It is the latest in a series of attacks that have rocked Pakistan since the government launched an offensive against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the northwest region bordering Afghanistan. On Thursday, a bomb blast at a police checkpoint wounded at least two policemen in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

On Wednesday, a suicide bomber killed two guards and wounded eleven other people at naval headquarters in Pakistan's capital Islamabad. The same day, the military said troops killed fifteen suspected miltants, including a top militant commander, in the Swat Valley, the site of a major offensive earlier this year.