Suicide Attack at Pakistani Mosque Kills 38

Via the BBC: Pakistan suicide blast ‘kills 38’

At least 38 people have been killed in a suicide attack on a mosque in north-western Pakistan, police say.

The explosion tore through the mosque, near the city of Peshawar, as about 1,000 people offered prayers for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Among the worshippers was Aftab Sherpao, interior minister in the outgoing government. He survived the attack but said his son was injured.

The violence comes as Pakistan prepares for a general election next month.

This is one of a number of such attacks in recent weeks.

It appears that the Interior Minister was the target:

Officials said Friday’s attacker had taken a place among the congregation, in the second row behind Mr Sherpao, at the mosque inside his own residential compound.

[…]

Witnesses said the dead included some of his police bodyguards. He later visited some of the wounded in hospital.

It was the second apparent attack on Mr Sherpao – a close ally of President Musharraf – in eight months.

As interior minister in the government recently dissolved by the president ahead of elections, Mr Sherpao was the country’s top security official and led the government’s campaign against Islamic militants.

Sherpao is a candidate for parliament in the upcoming elections.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter