News24

20 die in Pakistan suicide blast

2010-08-23 16:18

Peshawar - A suicide bomber blew himself up at a Pakistani mosque on Monday, killing at least 20 people, including a prominent local cleric in the lawless district of South Waziristan, officials said.

Cleric Maulana Noor Mohammed was greeting members of the congregation in the town of Wana after prayers at the mosque when the bomber struck, security officials told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"The death toll in the suicide attack has risen to 20, with more than 40 people wounded," said one of the officials, fearing the death toll may rise.

Syed Noor, a nephew of the cleric, confirmed that his uncle had been killed. He said his uncle was a former lawmaker and belonged to radical Sunni Muslim party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, which has been linked to the Taliban.

Wana is the main town in South Waziristan, one of Pakistan's seven districts in the lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border.

Pakistan last year waged a major operation to flush out the Pakistani Taliban from South Waziristan.