A suicide bomber attacked a Sunni mosque in northwest Pakistan, killing at least 24 worshippers and wounding 28 others. Several children were also among those killed or wounded in the deadly attack. A breakaway Taliban group later claimed responsibility for the bombing.

The attacker shouted “God is Great” as he entered the mosque in the village of Ambar in Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal region, according to government administrator Naveed Akbar. He said rescuers had transported the dead and wounded to nearby hospitals, where some of the wounded were listed in critical condition.

About 200 worshipers were inside the mosque at the time of attack.  Pashin Gul, the head of local tribal police, confirmed that it was a suicide attack. He said the bombing took place during Friday prayers, adding that several of the wounded are in a critical condition. Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar – the breakaway Taliban faction – claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement to media. He claimed the attacker targeted members of a pro-government militia.

The White House has condemned the attack in a statement, saying it is an “appalling reminder that terrorism threatens all countries in the region” and said the US would continue to work with the Pakistani government to fight terrorism.

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