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30 killed as militants hit Pakistan mosque

December 04, 2009|By Alex Rodriguez | Los Angeles Times

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani officials say at least 30 people have been killed and 40 to 50 injured today in a militant attack on a mosque in Rawalpindi.

Pakistani military spokesman Athar Abbas told BBC Radio that more than two militants were involved in the attack, and that at least one entered the mosque and detonated a suicide bomb. Most deaths occurred in the mosque, Abbas said. One militant remained at large.

Rawalpindi Police Chief Rao Iqbal said gunfire was continuing in the area.

The mosque is near the army headquarters, the scene of a deadly attack in October. In that incident, a team of militants dressed as paramilitary police raided the compound and took scores of officers and civilian workers hostage. Pakistani commandos rescued most of the hostages, but 14 people and nine militants were killed in the 22-hour siege.

The attacks underscore the resilience of militant networks despite army offensives against the Taliban in the northwest regions bordering Afghanistan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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