A bomb attack in a mosque during the main Friday prayers has killed dozens and wounded many more in the tribal district of Khyber in north-west Pakistan.
It was the deadliest attack for two months in the nuclear-armed Muslim country awash with violence blamed on Taliban and al-Qa’ida-linked networks where US special forces killed Osama bin Laden on May 2.
The bomb exploded as hundreds of people had packed into the mosque in the town of Jamrud, 25km from Peshawar, the main city in the northwest where most of the violence in Pakistan is concentrated.
The death toll in what is now believed to be a suicide bombing has risen to 43, the deputy chief of the Khyber tribal administration told AFP.
Khalid Mumtaz Kundi also said that 117 people had been wounded in the attack in the main prayer hall of the Sunni mosque, where at least 500 people had gathered.
Like the rest of the Muslim world, Pakistan is observing the holy month of Ramadan in which faithful fast from dawn to dusk.
Iftikhar Khan, an official at the Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar told AFP that 40 wounded people had been rushed there alone.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but bombings blamed on Taliban and al-Qa’ida-linked networks have killed more than 4550 people since 2007.
Friday’s bomb was the deadliest since twin attacks killed 39 people in Peshawar, ripping through a crowded supermarket-hotel complex on June 12.