Suicide bomber kills 37 in Pakistani mosque

LANDI KOTAL, Pakistan, (Reuters) – A suicide  bomber killed 37 people when he blew himself up in a crowded  Pakistani mosque near the Afghan border yesterday, government  officials said.

The attack came hours before U.S. President Barack Obama  announced a new strategy for the Afghan war, an approach U.S.  officials said would also recognise Pakistan as a key part of  the conflict.

Militant violence has surged in nuclear-armed Pakistan  since mid-2007, with numerous attacks on the security forces  and government and Western targets.

Police, paramilitary forces and government officials were  among the congregation in the mosque near Jamrud town, about 30  km (20 miles) from the Afghan border, when the attack happened.

The bomber set off his explosives as an imam, or prayer  leader, began the service.
“The moment the imam said Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest),  the blast went off,” said Tauseer Khan, 70, from a hospital bed  in the nearby Pakistani city of Peshawar.

“It was huge. I still can’t hear properly,” said Khan, who  had wounds to his hands and face. His son and grandson were  also wounded.

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