Suicide bomber kills 60 at mosque in Pakistan's northwest


A suicide bomber has killed more than 60 people today while Taliban fighters killed three more people in a hand grenade attack at a mosque in the latest attacks at religious gatherings in Pakistan. The Taliban took credit for the suicide attack and said it was aimed at members of a "peace council" opposed to Taliban rule.

The suicide bomber detonated his vest outside of the Waali Mosque in the frontier city of Darra Adam Khel in northwestern Pakistan. The bomber targeted the Pakistanis as they were leaving the mosque after Friday prayers, ensuring the maximum number of casualties.

Sixty people have been killed and more than 100 others have been wounded, some critically, Pakistani officials said.

In a second attack, Taliban fighters tossed three hand grenades inside of a mosque in the Suleman Khel area of Badhber, just outside of Peshawar, the provincial capital. Twenty-six people were also wounded.

The Taliban and allied terror groups have been behind the attacks on religious sites in Pakistan. Minority groups such Ahmadis, a sect of Islam that is illegal in Pakistan, and Christians, have been targeted, as well as the majority Barelvis, who are hated by terror groups for practicing Sufism and their opposition to the Taliban. Sufi shrines have been a major target of the attacks.

The Taliban have also attacked mosques where tribal leaders gather to organize opposition to the terror group, as well as sites where government officials, police, and military officers worship.

Taliban commander Tariq Afridi claimed the suicide attack in Darra Adam Khel and said it targeted tribal leaders who opposed the Taliban.

"The mosque was targeted because most of the worshippers were the member of government sponsored peace council, aiming to eliminate the Taliban," Afridi told AKI.

There are two major Taliban groups based in Darra Adam Khel, the Commander Tariq Group and the Omar Group.

Commander Tariq Group group is considered the most powerful outfit in the Arakzai tribal agency, and is based in Darra Adam Khel. It is led by Tariq Afridi, who is the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan in Khyber, as well as in regions in Peshawar, Kohat, and Hangu. Afridi was named the terror group's commander of Khyber in November 2009. The Tariq Afridi Group also conducts attacks on Pakistani security forces in Arakzai, Kohat, and Hangu. His fighters were responsible for closing down the Kohat Tunnel twice in 2008. In early 2009, the Commander Tariq Afridi Group claimed the murder and beheading of Polish geologist Piotr Stanczak.

The Omar Group is also based in Darra Adam Khel. This major Taliban group has conducted attacks in the regions around Peshawar.

Taliban target religious sites

Over the past few years, the Taliban and allied Pakistani terror groups have shown no reservations about striking inside mosques and other religious sites, as well as during religious processions and events [see list below]. There have been 29 major attacks on mosques and other Islamic institutions in Pakistan since December 2007, according to information compiled by The Long War Journal.

One of the most brazen attacks took place on Dec. 4, 2009, when a suicide assault team stormed a mosque frequented by military officers in Rawalpindi. Two senior generals were among the 40 people killed.

Terror groups have continued to target Pakistani religious institutions this year. On July 1, suicide bombers struck the Data Ganj Bakhsh shrine in Lahore, killing 41 people and wounding more than 170. Three suicide bombers detonated their vests at the shrine at a time when it is most frequented.

More recently, on Aug. 23, a suicide bomber detonated inside a mosque in Wana in South Waziristan. In the attack, over 30 people, including a pro-government and pro-Taliban former member of parliament, were killed.

And on Oct. 7, two suicide bombers killed eight people at a Sufi shrine in in Karachi.

The last such attack took place just over on week ago, on Oct. 25, when a bomb was detonated inside a shrine in Pakpattan, killing five people and wounding dozens more.

Major attacks at mosques, religious events, and Islamic institutions in Pakistan since December 2007:

Nov. 5, 2010: Fifty people were killed in a suicide attack outside a mosque in Darra Adam Khel.

Oct. 25, 2010: Five people were killed when an IED was detonated inside a shrine in Pakpattan.

Oct. 22, 2010: Five people were killed when an IED was detonated inside a mosque in Peshawar.

Oct. 7, 2010: Two suicide bombers killed eight people in a coordinated attack on the Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine in Karachi.

Sept. 3, 2010: A suicide bomber attempted to storm a mosque in Mardan, but was stopped by security guards. One person was killed after he detonated his vest.

Sept. 1, 2010: Suicide bombers detonated during Shia religious processions in Lahore, killing 28 people.

Aug. 23, 2010: A suicide bomber detonated at a mosque in Wana, South Waziristan, killing 18 people.

July 1, 2010: Suicide bombers detonated at the Data Ganj Bakhsh shrine in Lahore, killing 41 people and wounding more than 170.

May 28, 2010: The Punjabi Taliban assaulted two Ahamadi mosques in Lahore, killing more than 70 people.

Dec. 18, 2009: A suicide bomber detonated inside a mosque frequented by policemen in Lower Dir, killing 12.

Dec. 4, 2009: A suicide assault team stormed a mosque in Rawalpindi that is frequented by Army officers, killing 40.

Oct. 20, 2009: A pair of suicide bombers detonated their vests at Islamabad's International Islamic University, killing five.

June 12, 2009: A suicide bomber killed five Pakistanis, including anti-Taliban cleric Dr. Sarfraz Naeemi, in an attack on a mosque in Lahore during Friday prayers.

June 12, 2009: A suicide bomber killed six worshipers and wounded more than 90 in an attack inside a mosque in Nowshera. The attack collapsed the dome of the mosque.

June 5, 2009: A suicide bomber killed 49 worshipers in an attack on a mosque in a remote village in Dir.

April 5, 2009: A suicide bomber killed 24 worshipers and wounded more than 100 in an attack outside a Shia religious center in the Chakwal district in Punjab province.

March 27, 2009: A Taliban suicide bomber killed more than 70 worshipers and wounded more than 125 in an attack at a mosque in the Khyber tribal agency.

March 5, 2009: An attacker threw a hand grenade into the middle of a mosque in Dera Ismail Khan, wounding 25 worshipers.

March 2, 2009: A suicide bomber killed six people during an attack at a gathering in a mosque in the Pishin district in Baluchistan.

Feb. 20, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 32 Pakistanis and wounded more than 85 in an attack on a funeral procession for a Shia elder who was murdered in Dera Ismail Khan.

Feb. 5, 2009: A suicide attack outside a mosque killed more than 30 Shia worshipers and wounded more than 50.

Nov. 22, 2008: A bombing at a mosque in Hangu killed five civilians and wounded seven.

Nov. 21, 2008: A suicide attack on a funeral procession in Dera Ismail Khan killed 10 mourners and wounded more than 25.

Sept. 10, 2008: The Taliban attacked a mosque filled with Ramadan worshipers in the district of Dir in northwestern Pakistan. More than 25 worshipers were killed and more than 50 were wounded.

Aug. 19, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 29 Shia mourners and wounded 35 after detonating in the emergency ward of a hospital.

June 17, 2008: Four Pakistanis were killed and three wounded in a bombing at a Shia mosque in Dera Ismail Khan.

May 19, 2008: Four Pakistanis were killed in a bombing outside a mosque in Bajaur.

Jan. 17, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 10 and wounded 25 in an attack on a Shia mosque in Peshawar.

Dec. 28, 2007: A suicide bomber detonated in the middle of a mosque in Charsadda in an attempt to kill former Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao as he conducted Eid prayers. More than 50 were killed and more than 200 were wounded.



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READER COMMENTS: "Suicide bomber kills 60 at mosque in Pakistan's northwest"

Posted by Ariely at November 5, 2010 9:05 AM ET:

Imagine the crimes Islamisit will do to the infidels if they will have more power if that what they are doing to their family!
Horrifying numbers of accumulated Islamist harvest
Killing people regardless their religion.
16341 Islamist attacks since 9/11
Islamist worldwide kill summary
616- Oct
675-Sep.
811-Aug.
1060-Jul .
556-Jun .
742-May.
From:-- India to Russia--Philippines to England--Thailand to New York--Uganda to Nepal--Argentina to China--France to Kenya- In all 58 Muslim countries.
-
The world should view the big picture ongoing for the last 90 years.
Stop analyzing and dealing with individual cases.
Build a compressive strategy to stop by all means the Islamist ideology and supporting countries using terror as a tool.
Find and encourage Muslims willing to join the 21 century consensus that accept peacefully all religions and don't impose by sward any religion, including Islam

Posted by ArneFufkin at November 5, 2010 9:14 AM ET:

I won't hold my breath for Julian Assange and the rest of the "International Human Rights" community to decry this slaughter.

Posted by David at November 5, 2010 10:14 AM ET:

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/suicide-attack-at-pakistan-mosque-kills-61-20101105-17hn6.html

The death toll is now 61.

This is absolutely horrible, but a sign of what will happen if Salafi Islam goes unchecked in your society.

Posted by madashell59 at November 5, 2010 11:34 AM ET:

Great article to bring to point the number of attacks on their own. I wonder if anyone at this attack was listed in any of the documents posted by wikileaks. That guy should be jailed as a war criminal.

Posted by Eric L at November 5, 2010 11:42 AM ET:

Ariely,

I'm curious to the source of your numbers. Can you post where you got them?

Thanks.

Posted by David at November 5, 2010 11:50 AM ET:

madashell59, you MUST reply to me in the discussion we recently had about drone attacks. Scroll down on the front page, it has 19 replies and I want you to reply to comment.

P.S: There has been a second suicide bombing:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gzeoqnWte3psEm7lPanR4iVimywg?docId=0c38fb1e1414462f81d099ce2cd470ce&index=0

Posted by Charu at November 5, 2010 12:26 PM ET:

Sam Huntington got it right in so many ways. He wrote that Islam has bloody borders, and that there would be an inevitable clash of civilizations. What he might have missed was that Islam also consumes its own, which is why it will lose this war like all totalitarian ideologies (China, pay attention) do. Liberty, freedom and equality are worth fighting for.

Posted by Kemal at November 5, 2010 3:02 PM ET:

Eric L:
Ariely got those figures from http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

Posted by omar at November 5, 2010 4:33 PM ET:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2010/1105/Deadly-bombings-in-Pakistan-target-mosques-killing-more-than-70-worshippers

This carnage will not get too much attention because the dead are all local Pakhtoons, not members of the officer class or the ruling elite. This is "collateral damage" in the grand strategy of "strategic depth" and such sacrifices are required in order to achieve great aims....disgusting.

Posted by Neo at November 5, 2010 5:33 PM ET:

Sadly, Muslim on Muslim terrorism gets much less press. It falls outside easy east vs. west, Muslim vs. Christian paradigms. It's also hard to clearly blame the United States for these events, unless you want to make up a bunch of stuff. You could point at the United States as a major contributor to the environment surrounding these attacks if your primary purpose was to be contrary to American policy. As for myself, I think I will take the simplest path and place direct blame on the unyielding ideology surrounding Al Qaeda. It's certainly not the first time extremism has been a destructive problem in Islam.

Posted by bard207 at November 6, 2010 9:15 PM ET:

Neo,

------------------------------------------------------------

Sadly, Muslim on Muslim terrorism gets much less
press. It falls outside easy east vs. west, Muslim vs. Christian paradigms.
-----------------------------------------------------------

It is difficult for me and perhaps many others outside of Pakistan to develop concern for those killed in Pakistan by Muslim on Muslim attacks.

If the Pakistani Army was giving a full & spirited effort to clamp down on the Islamic militants, then I
would be able to generate empathy & sympathy for those be killed and maimed by the Islamic militants.

-----------------------------------------------------------
It's also hard to clearly blame the United States for these events, unless you want to make up a bunch of stuff.
-----------------------------------------------------------

That is very true and there are many in Pakistan that claim that it is the CIA, RAW, Mossad and other foreign agencies that are funding & guiding the TTP and other groups attacking within Pakistan.


------------------------------------------------------------
You could point at the United States as a major contributor to the environment surrounding these attacks if your primary purpose was to be contrary to American policy.
-----------------------------------------------------------

I read that to mean the ISI and the Pakistani Army by being supportive of Pakistani media and Mullahs that rail against the U.S.


-----------------------------------------------------------
As for myself, I think I will take the simplest path and place direct blame on the unyielding ideology surrounding Al Qaeda. It's certainly not the first time extremism has been a destructive problem in Islam.
-----------------------------------------------------------

I would extend that blame to those (ISI and Pakistani Army) who think that Al Qaeda, Taliban and similar can be harnessed as deniable extensions of the Pakistani Army for making mischief and possibly gains against Afghanistan and India.

Posted by Villiger at November 7, 2010 11:41 AM ET:

Bard your last point is of particular importance.

And should one not also extend the blame to the US Govt for its very substantial support to the Pakistani Govt and Pakistani military?

Where are the US's political systems checks and balances on who it allies with, who it does business with, who it doles money out to, where does it go, where is the return?

I can't believe i'm asking the plainest of questions on basic issues that ought to be addressed.

Maybe Pakistan and AQ have made a pact that they are going to bleed America ever so slowly in this Long War. The old guns and butter model is still relevant and one understands that the political forces are reshaping in the recognition that there's not enough butter going around for now.

I don't pretend to understand US politics but shall one assume that the American people by-and-large support their Govt in maintaining this wonderful relationship with its old, precious and important ally?

Please understand, I am with you all the way on your perspectives about the deceptive behavior of the Pakistani establishment, about the lack of response and/or rejection and/or revolt from the Pakistani people in their act of being mislead. About the Pakistani people and Govt not taking self-responsibility.

Now what about the US not taking self-responsibility for the disaster that is its policy in relating with Pakistan, an expensive relationship so closely nurtured over tens of years?

At times one feels, forgive me for saying so, that you really deserve each other.

Posted by Infidel4LIFE at November 7, 2010 1:16 PM ET:

These are the same people that blame the Mossad, CIA, etc for 9/11. They are truly brainwashed. The Talibs, AQ etc. has killed many more moslems than any Western army has. Pakistani's seem to hate the US more than any country-excluding Iran. One is a nuclear power, the other aspires to be. Both harbor terrorists. They say "no", they are LIARS.

Posted by bard207 at November 8, 2010 6:18 PM ET:

Villiger,

------------------------------------------------------------

Bard your last point is of particular importance.

And should one not also extend the blame to the US Govt for its very substantial support to the
Pakistani Govt and Pakistani military?
------------------------------------------------------------

U.S. support to Pakistan prior to 9/11/2001 was largely aimed at fighting the Cold War against the largest perceived threat which was the U.S.S.R.

From the late 1980's until 9/11/2001, the U.S. had varying restrictions on economic aid sent to Pakistan.

Confrontation and Retreat: The U.S. Congress and the South Asian Nuclear Tests - Key Legislation

THE PRESSLER AMENDMENT AND PAKISTAN'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM (Senate - July 31, 1992)

Pakistan Nuclear Weapons - A Chronology

-----------------------------------------------------------
Where are the US's political systems checks and balances on who it allies with, who it
does business with, who it doles money out to, where does it go, where is the return?
-----------------------------------------------------------

Providing (or not providing) economic aid and military supplies to Pakistan has been an issue for several decades. For some people in the U.S., as long as nothing bad happens here, then what happens in other parts of the world is of only minor - minimal concern. Understandably, that isn't a palatable philosophy for the neighboring countries of Pakistan that are impacted by the natural instability inherent within Pakistan.


-----------------------------------------------------------
I can't believe i'm asking the plainest of questions on basic issues that ought to be addressed.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Past history has shown that Pakistan will proceed on its chosen course whether the U.S. is a friend (that provides economic and military aid) or does nothing at all. The most recent funding (post 9/11/2011) rents some transit routes for supplies into Afghanistan and provides an audience with those in power in Pakistan.

The U.S. did use that audience to help nudge Dictator - General Musharraf from power, but it wasn't enough to make the Pakistani Military and the ISI obedient to the civilian government as would be expected in most countries.

President Zardari and Prime Misnister Gilani have minimal power in Pakistan and the task of sending the Pakistani Military to its barracks and making them obedient to the civilian government is something that will need to resolved within Pakistan. Neither the U.S., India or any other country will likely attempt to try to correct the internal imbalances in Pakistan.

A Supranational organization such as the OIC isn't going to step forward and correct the problems in Pakistan either. There is too much Honor & Dignity involved for OIC countries to find fault with a member country such as Pakistan. The OIC is unwilling to step forward and correct the obvious wrongs in smaller countries such as Somalia and the Sudan, much less tackle the problems in one of its largest members (Pakistan).

------------------------------------------------------------
Maybe Pakistan and AQ have made a pact that they are going to bleed America ever so slowly in this
Long War. The old guns and butter model is still relevant and one understands that the political
forces are reshaping in the recognition that there's not enough butter going around for now.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Even with the aid being provided by the U.S., Pakistan is sinking and lagging even more behind India than ever before.

Continued large population growth coupled with minimal economic growth will cripple Pakistan more and more.

Have patience and wait for it to disintegrate.


------------------------------------------------------------
I don't pretend to understand US politics but shall one assume that the American people by-and-large
support their Govt in maintaining this wonderful relationship with its old, precious and important ally?
-----------------------------------------------------------

Some in the U.S. understand the problems and deceit of Pakistan and some don't. Groups such as CAIR run heavy advertising campaigns to show a softer side of Islam to the American people.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Please understand, I am with you all the way on your perspectives about the deceptive behavior of the
Pakistani establishment, about the lack of response and/or rejection and/or revolt from the Pakistani
people in their act of being mislead. About the Pakistani people and Govt not taking self-responsibility.
-----------------------------------------------------------

The perception of some observers is that Pakistanis (particularly Punjabis) think that they are inheritors of past Muslim empires in South Asia and the Partition of 1947 cheated them of their right to reestablish their Muslim Empire.

Until Pakistanis realize that they have neither the rights or ability to reestablish a Muslim Empire in South Asia, they will probably continue to avoid taking responsibility for their current situation.

Until they accept this (substitute the appropriate deity).

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Pakistanis won't take self-responsibility.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Now what about the US not taking self-responsibility for the disaster that is its policy in relating
with Pakistan, an expensive relationship so closely nurtured over tens of years?

At times one feels, forgive me for saying so, that you really deserve each other.
-----------------------------------------------------------

At the moment, the perception of Pakistan is much lower in the U.S. than it was in the past. Yet, threatening to cutting aid - funding to a level of just sending them one box of dates for Ramadan is unlikely to modify Pakistani behavior in any areas.

In summary, the U.S. spends billions and gets minimal levels of positive results in return. The alternative is to cut the billions and lose whatever audience the U.S. currently has with Pakistan.