A teenaged suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shiite mosque in Pakistan on Sunday killing at least 35 and wounding another 150, some 2000 people were reportedly present in the mosque in Chakwal town in the eastern Pakistani province of Punjab when the bomber struck.
“The casualties would have been much higher had the bomber not been stopped at the entrance,” Zulfikar Chaudhry, the local police chief was quoted as saying.
Many police officers are also being reported as among the dead.
The bombing tore through a part of the mosque which is in a congested area of Chakwal town some 50 miles from Islamabad.
The impact of the explosion damaged several vehicles parked outside the mosque and authorities are said to be searching the wreckage for the dead and injured.
Violence between Pakistan’s majority Sunni and minority Shiite communities have witnessed an unprecedented spike as the oldest factions in Islm have targedted each other with a renewed vengeance in the country.
Chakwal is a key police recruitment center in the Pakistan and several policemen were also said to be amongst the dead, the police casualties cast doubts over the motive of the bomber.
The Chakwal bombing comes a day after a suicide bombing at a security post in Islamabad killed eight paramilitary soldiers, the attack, in a high security zone, was blocks away from the presidential palace and parliament building.
No one has claimed responsibility for the latest attack in the capital. But authorities sau Baitullah Mehsud – a powerful Taliban faction head – was responsible.
Mehsud, who carries a US announced five-million-dollar reward on his head, had claimed responsibility for the raid on a police training school in Lahore on March 31 and threatened to launch more raids until the US drone attacks were stopped.