Taliban suicide bombing kills 23 at mosque in north-west Pakistan

A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up among worshippers at a mosque in north-western Pakistan on Friday, killing 23 people and wounding scores others, officials said.

The attack in Mohmand tribal district near the Afghan border was the latest in a string of bombings to hit Pakistan in recent weeks after months of calm.

The bomber hit the mosque as people were coming out of the compound after Friday prayers, local administration official Siraj Khan told dpa.

The blast caused a part of the building to collapse, local administration chief Naveed Akbar said.

At least five children were among the dead, Akbar added. 

Nearly three dozen injured people were taken to the hospital in nearby Bajaur town, doctor Khan Saeed said, adding that all of them are in a stable condition.

The Jamaatul Ahrar faction of the Pakistani Taliban, which allegedly operates from Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying pro-government militia members were the target. 

Pakistan's lawless tribal regions on the Afghan border were long controlled by Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda before being pushed back by the military in a series of offensives launched June 2014 onwards.

But their ability to carry out surprise attacks against so-called "soft civilian" targets remains intact.

Last update: Fri, 16/09/2016 - 19:22

More from World

MSF: 50 dead, 120 wounded after Nigerian jet fires on refugee camp

At least 50 people are dead and 120 wounded after a Nigerian army airstrike hit a refugee camp in the country's...

Report: US and EU make "considerable progress" on TTIP negotiations

The European Union and the United States have made "considerable progress" in negotiating the Transatlantic Trade...

Gambia declares 90-day state of emergency

Gambia declared a 90-day state of emergency on Tuesday, two days before President Yahya Jammeh was to step down...

Rowhani says Trump's criticism of Iran nuclear deal is 'just talk'

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Tuesday dismissed remarks by the US president-elect criticizing the nuclear deal...

Mediterranean death toll exceeds 200 since January 1, IOM says

At least 219 people have died trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean in the first weeks of 2017, the...