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AKHURWALL (Pakistan) - A SUICIDE bomber destroyed a Pakistani mosque on Friday, killing 61 people during the main weekly prayers and leaving body parts under a collapsed roof and pulverised rubble.
The deadliest attack in two months in the country on the front line of the US-led war on Al-Qaeda was followed by a grenade assault on a second mosque in the same area which killed at least four.
Dozens of people were critically wounded and officials fear the toll from both attacks could rise. The first blast turned worship into a bloodbath in Akhurwall village, part of the semi-tribal north-west area of Darra Adam Khel, about 140km west of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
Eleven children were among the dead said a local official, as the force of the explosion reduced the mosque to a pile of rubble. Only one wall was left standing and the concrete roof collapsed, leaving bloodstains, human remains and hair scattered in the debris.
Houses near the mosque were also damaged, including that of Wali Mohammad, the leader of a local pro-government militia that had clashed repeatedly with local Taleban militants until reportedly cutting a deal earlier this year. Although the Taliban denied responsibility, a local elder blamed the group, suggesting it could have been acting to punish Mohammad's militia.
Witnesses said the bomber walked into the mosque and shout before a deafening explosion. Dilawar Gul, 30, said he was collecting donations from worshippers when he heard the suicide bomber shout. Local administration official Gul Jamal Khan told AFP that 61 people had been killed and 104 others wounded.
Pakistan mosque blast kills 61