Bomb kills seven at Pakistan Shi'ite mosque: officials

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN (AFP) - A bomb attack on Friday killed seven people and wounded more than 20 others at a Shiite Muslim mosque and religious seminary on the outskirts of Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said.

"Seven people have been killed and 25 others were injured in the blast in the prayer hall of the mosque," police official Subhan Khan told AFP.

Police said it was a Shiite mosque and madrassa complex in Gulshan Colony, a Shiite-dominated area on the edge of Peshawar, which abuts militant strongholds in the northwestern tribal belt on the Afghan border.

"It looks like a suicide attack, but we cannot confirm it at the moment because we are still investigating," said Mr Khan.

Jamil Shah, an official at the main government-run Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, confirmed that medics had recovered seven dead bodies and received 26 injured people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but sectarian violence targeting Pakistan's minority Shiite community has been on the rise in recent years.

Shiites account for 20 percent of the mostly Sunni Muslim population in the nuclear-armed state, which suffers from a Taleban insurgency and Al-Qaeda-linked violence.

Extremist Sunni militant faction Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for a series of bloody attacks on Shiites in the southwestern city of Quetta that killed at least 25 people on June 15.