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Archive for Saturday, May 29, 2010

Attackers strike Pakistani mosques

May 29, 2010

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— Islamist gunmen and a suicide squad lobbed grenades, sprayed bullets from atop a minaret and took hostages Friday in attacks on two mosques packed with worshippers from a minority sect in Pakistan. At least 80 people were killed and dozens wounded.

The strikes — the deadliest against the Ahmadi community — highlight the threat to minority religious groups by the same militants who have repeatedly attacked Pakistan’s U.S.-allied government and threatened to destabilize the nuclear-armed nation.

The tactics echoed those militants have used against government, foreign and security targets in Pakistan, but they had never before been directed against a religious minority.

Two teams of heavily armed attackers — seven men in total — staged the raids minutes apart, seizing hostages and apparently planning to fight to the death. Three died when they detonated their suicide vests. Two were captured.

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