Suicide bomber kills at least 47 in Pakistan

KHYBER, Pakistan, (Reuters) – A teenage suicide  bomber blew himself up among worshippers offering Friday prayers  at a mosque in northwest Pakistan, killing at least 47 people  and wounding more than 70, a top government official said.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack in Jamrud, a  main town in  Khyber, but officials suspected Taliban militants  who have been active for past years in the tribal region that  shares border with Afghanistan.

Officials earlier said 34 people had been killed.

“Many of the wounded succumbed to their injuries, adding to  the toll that may rise further as there are still people in  critical condition,” region’s top government administrator  Mutahir Zeb said.

Zeb said the attack was carried out by a teenage boy who  struck when worshippers were offering prayers.

The mosque is located in an area inhabited by Kokikhel  tribesmen, who are opposed to Taliban activity and have been  fighting to push them out of their region. “The blast could be a  reaction to that,” Zeb said.

Earlier, another senior official said about 20 bodies were  brought to two hospitals, while relatives took others directly  to their homes.  A witness, Haji Zarmeen, said he helped removed at least 12  bodies from the rubble.

TV footage showed blood on the walls and ceiling of the  mosque as people collected clothes and sandals scattered by the  blast. Pakistan has seen a wave of violence in recent years in  which thousands of people have been killed.

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