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Blast Rips Through Mosque in Northwest Pakistan

The explosion killed at least 59

A suicide bombing Monday afternoon tore through a crowded mosque at prayer time inside a police compound in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, collapsing the roof and killing at least 59 people and injuring 157, according to hospital officials.

The blast, one of the deadliest militant attacks ever on Pakistani forces, was claimed by two officials of the Pakistani Taliban, an extremist militia that has waged war against the government for years and recently broke off a truce that had been negotiated last year. The group has a close alliance with the Afghan Taliban now ruling Afghanistan but operates independently.

Two leaders of the group, known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter. Umar Mukarram Khorasani, a member of the TTP central leadership council, tweeted that it was “the fourth suicide attack” to avenge the death of a senior TTP leader, Umar Khalid Khorasani, a founder of the group who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan last August. He warned that more such revenge attacks would follow.

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