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  • » 06/10/2009, 00.00


    Suicide bomb on Peshawar hotel, 15 dead more than 70 injured

    Qaiser Felix

    Two UN employees among the victims. 500 kgs of explosives packed on board the car. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, Taliban suspected. Pakistan’s President and premier condemn the bombing and reiterate “all out war” on terrorism.

    Peshawar (AsiaNews) – The latest toll from the suicide bomb attack on the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar is 15 dead and over 75 injured. The blast took place at 22.30 local time: an armed commando shot security guards and then rammed a vehicle packed with 500 kgs of explosives into the building.  Among the victims of the attack are three foreigners, two of whom worked for humanitarian organisations and the United Nations.

    Sefwat Ghayur, city police chief, has confirmed it was a “suicide attack”.  The explosion was heard kilometres away; numerous buildings in the surrounding area were damaged by the power of the blast.  An entire wing of the hotel collapsed; a dozen vehicles were destroyed.

    Last night’s attack in Peshawar recalls last years’ attack on the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad, in which 50 people died.  The bombing has not been claimed so far, but it appears probable that it was the work of the Taliban.  Last week the fundamentalist’s leaders had promised a series of attacks on the nations main cities, in answer to the army offensive in the Swat Valley.

    Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister in North-West Frontier Province (Nwfp), has confirmed the presence of two foreigners among the dead.  They are 44 year old Aleksandar Vorkapic, 44 a specialised technician of Serbian nationality and member of the High Commission for Refugees.  The second a 52 year Filipino Perseveranda So, of Unicef, who was working on an education program for the children of the zone.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned “the brutal terrorist attack”.   President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the attack and grieved the loss of innocent lives, and resolve to continue the government’s commitment to eradicate terrorism.

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    See also

    22/05/2008 PAKISTAN
    Government strikes a deal with Taliban, Sharia to be enforced in the northern part of the country
    Under a 15-point agreement the Swat Valley should come under the administrative and legal control of Islamic militias. For the United States and NATO it is a great favour for al-Qaeda. Various Pakistani analysts are sceptical about the deal, which they see as a way to carve up the country.

    28/04/2009 PAKISTAN
    Boy wounded in Taliban attack near Karachi dies
    Irfan Masih, 11, succumbed to gunshot wounds he suffered to the head. Five other people were also injured in the attack during which Islamists set fire on Christian homes and Bibles. Activists complain about police inaction.

    09/05/2009 PAKISTAN
    Islamabad, final offensive against the Taliban. One million civilians flee
    The provincial government and United Nations announce a humanitarian emergency in Swat Valley. The death toll from the clashes is 170 fundamentalists and 10 soldiers. The United States approves an aid package of 1.9 billion dollars.

    11/07/2009 PAKISTAN
    UN: billions of dollars for Swat. Islamic leader announces a "bloody revolution"
    A top UN official calls for "a generous response" from the international community for refugees affected by war between the army and the Taliban. The Red Cross launches an alarm: the monsoon is worsening the emergency of the evacuees. The leader of Red Mosque promises a "bloodbath" if Shariah is not enforced.

    12/05/2009 PAKISTAN
    Army and Taliban battle it out in “the most dangerous nation in the world”
    Commandos assault Piochar where 4 thousand militants are entrenched. Ten dead, among them a six year old girl, in a suicide attack. Rocket attacks on girl’s schools and the sanctuary of a Pashtun poet. A Canadian Minister describes Pakistan and its nuclear arsenal “the most dangerous nation in the world”.

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