Just hours after US special envoy Richard Holbrooke visited the region, an explosion ripped through a mosque in northwestern Pakistan killing at least 29 and wounding dozens. “The explosion tore through a mosque in the Aka Khel area of Khyber, killing at least 29 people and wounding about 50, Jawed Khan, a local official, said. Officials, who said the blast could be the result of factional rivalry, were still investigating whether a suicide bomber or a planted device was responsible. No group claimed responsibility, but Khan said the dead included fighters from Lashkar-e-Islam, an insurgent group in Khyber that has clashed with another armed group known as Ansarul Islam, both of whom espouse Taliban-style ideologies. Khyber is part of Pakistan’s tribal belt on the Afghan border where Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked fighters have carved out strongholds, in what the US calls the most dangerous region on earth. Holbrooke’s trip to Pakistan is his eighth in a year, and, in a sign of warming ties, plans to return next month with Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US military’s joint chiefs of staff.”
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