Evening Times

Bombers kill 35 at mosque

Suicide attack during prayers near army HQ

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At least 35 people were killed wh e n two suicide bombers threw grenades into a mosque near army headquarte­rs during Friday prayers.

Commando teams and ambulances raced to the scene after the pair opened fire before blowing themselves up in the heavily fortified area.

The attack – the third in Rawalpindi in nearly two months –under - scored the resilience of militant networks in Pakistan despite army offensives against the Taliban in the regions bordering Afghanista­n.

It was the latest in a wave of bloodshed that has killed more than 400 people in the country since October.

The attack began when several gun mentrig - gered an explosion to break through a check- point on the perimeter of a heavily fortified army installati­on just a few miles from capital Islamabad, said a police official at the scene.

He added that the installati­on included an army parade ground as well as the mosque, which was used by the military.

Two of the assailants were able to enter the mosque and sprayed the congregati­on with gunfire and grenades, said Major General Athar Abbas, the main military spokesman.

He said there were other attackers but provided no details about them. He also confirmed initially that at least 26 people were killed and 20 wounded, while other officials said later the death told had risen to 35.

Two of the recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan occurred in Rawalpindi. A suicide bomb in the city on November 2 killed 35 people and on October 10, arai dont hea r my headquarte­rs prompted a 22-hour standoff that left nine militants and 14 other people dead.

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