20 Killed in Northwest Pakistan Mosque Bombings

Attacks Targeted Mosques in Restive Malakand Agency

by Jason Ditz, May 17, 2013

Bombings tore through a pair of mosques in the Baz Darrah district of Malakand today, killing at least 20 people and badly wounding 70 others. Both mosques were badly damaged, and one saw its roof collapse after the attack.

The death toll is expected to continue to rise, as rescue workers sift through the debris looking for the people believed to still be trapped within. The attacks overwhelmed hospitals in the area.

Still the death toll could have been far worse. People from the second mosque attacked say that it was mostly empty because worshipers flocked to the site of the first attack to help in the rescue, only to learn that their mosque was hit later.

Pakistani security forces imposed a curfew on the surrounding area. So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but there are multiple militant factions, including the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan-Swat Valley (TTP-S) that remain resentful after the 2009 offensive against Malakand.

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