Page last updated at 19:39 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 20:39 UK

Deadly attack on Pakistan mosque


At least 14 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a grenade attack on a mosque in northern Pakistan.

The mosque, in Dir district near the border with Afghanistan, was full of people offering special Ramadan prayers, officials said.

One official told reporters that the attackers threw grenades into the mosque before firing on the worshippers with machine guns.

Militants in the border areas have launched several attacks recently.

Bahadur Khan, the mayor of the village in Dir district, told Reuters news agency that the attackers first threw grenades into the mosque then opened fire with Kalashnikovs.

Police officer Naveed Khan told AFP: "People were offering prayers inside the mosque when unidentified people threw several grenades, causing bloodshed and mayhem."

Officials said they expected the death toll to rise.

'Safe havens'

US officials have said al-Qaeda has found a safe haven inside Pakistan from where it can plan new attacks on the West.

Adm Mike Mullen testifying at the US House of Representatives

On Wednesday, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said a new strategy was needed to deny militants in Afghanistan the use of bases across the border in Pakistan.

"Until we work more closely with the Pakistani government to eliminate the safe havens from which they operate, the enemy will only keep coming," Adm Mike Mullen told a US House of Representatives hearing as he outlined the Pentagon's thinking.

But Islamabad said it would not allow foreign forces on to its territory.

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