70 die in Pakistan mosque attacks
A suicide bomber has killed 67 people at a mosque frequented by tribal elders opposed to the Pakistani Taliban.
Hours later, three people died in a grenade attack on another mosque associated with anti-Taliban militia.
The first attack happened at midday on Friday in the town of Darra Adam Khel, a militant stronghold which lies on the edge of Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal region.
The bomber, whom authorities said appeared to be a teenager, ran into the mosque where several hundred worshippers were gathered for midday prayers on the holiest day of the week. He detonated explosives around his waist.
Survivors bundled the victims into cars and rushed them to hospitals in Peshawar, the main city in the north-west - an hour's drive away. Local government official Shahid Ullah said tribesmen running an anti-Taliban militia often met at the mosque, but they were not there on this particular Friday. Another official, Saeed Khan, said 67 were killed and 100 others were wounded.
It was the deadliest suicide bombing since a pair of attackers killed 102 people and wounded 168 in the Mohmand tribal region in July. That blast targeted tribal elders resisting the Taliban who were meeting a government official.
GEO News TV reported that the Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella group of local militants based in the tribal region, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Later three hand grenades exploded during evening prayers at a mosque in Peshawar's Badhber district, 14 miles from the first attack. Along with three dead, 24 people were wounded, said police official Ejaz Khan.
Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that attack was a "reaction to the successes" of an anti-Taliban militia, known as a lashkar, in Badhber. "No police or government can be successful without the people's support. We need these lashkars. We will support them to eradicate terrorism," said Mr Hussain, whose only son was killed by militants earlier this year.
Allied to insurgents in Afghanistan, the Pakistani Taliban have carried out scores of attacks over the past three years against army, government and foreign targets and allegedly trained the Pakistani-American who attempted to blow up a car bomb in Times Square this year.