Mosque bomb kills 29 in Pakistan

A bomb at a mosque in Pakistan’s north-western tribal belt killed 29 people today.

The attack in Khyber tribal region came as US special envoy Richard Holbrooke met Pakistan’s prime minister in Islamabad.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack in the Aka Khel area of Khyber, but the dead included militants from Lashkar-e-Islam, an insurgent group that has clashed with another militant outfit known as Ansarul Islam. Both support Taliban-style ideologies.

Earlier this week, officials confirmed that a joint CIA-Pakistani security operation had captured the number two Afghan Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi.

Today an Afghan official said that around the same time – some two weeks ago - two Taliban leaders from northern Afghanistan also were arrested in Pakistan by Pakistani authorities.

Pakistan has said very little on the record about the arrests, but they could signal a shift in policy. Pakistan has long frustrated the West by either denying that the Afghan Taliban use its soil or doing little to root them out.

The arrests could mean that Pakistan has decided to turn on the Afghan Taliban, a group that it helped nurture as a strategic ally against long-time rival India, though some suspect the Pakistanis were forced to act because the U.S. had solid intelligence on Baradar that it could not deny.

The arrests came as Western and Afghan troops fight the Taliban for control of Marjah town in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province.


More in this Section

Huawei posts 13.1% revenue growth amid pandemic and sanctionsHuawei posts 13.1% revenue growth amid pandemic and sanctions

New Zealand opposition leader leaves role after two monthsNew Zealand opposition leader leaves role after two months

UAE’s Mars orbiter launch from Japan delayed by weatherUAE’s Mars orbiter launch from Japan delayed by weather

Judge rules Trump niece can publicise book about US presidentJudge rules Trump niece can publicise book about US president


Lifestyle

The arrival of the new baby has led to a tricky family dynamic in the Cork-set show, writes Georgia HumphreysBaby's arrival leads to more adventures as the Young Offenders return

THIS week, a gap emerges between my wife and me, until Netflix saves the day.Learner Dad: A week in the sun wasn’t worth all the second-guessing about green lists

Young children need nutrient-rich food throughout the dayBitesize: Forget about snacks think about mini meals instead

A major new drama from David Simon of The Wire, and the concluding episode of I May Destroy You.Tuesday's TV highlights: The Plot Against America, classic soccer and more

More From The Irish Examiner