09/04/2007, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Rawalpindi blasts: 24 killed, 66 injured

by Qaiser Felix
The attacks were confirmed by the military spokesman. The targets were all linked to the ministry for defence and police forces. Human rights activists: extremists destabilise the nation, government intervention is needed.

Rawalpindi (AsiaNews) – Two original bombs exploded this morning (local time) in two separate points in Rawalpindi, close to the capital Islamabad. According to the first to arrive at the scene of the explosions, at least 24 people have been killed and 66 others injured many seriously.  The news was confirmed by the Pakistan military spokesman Major Wahid Qurashi.

 

According to early reports, they were suicide attacks.  The army has yet to confirm this, but they are combing the area, currently completely cordoned off.  The first bomb exploded aboard a bus carrying ministry for defence employees. The second instead hit the market area where the general headquarters of the police force is located. The cities hospitals are in a state of alert.  So far no claims have been made regarding the attack.

 

Shahbaz Bhatti, chairman All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) has condemned the attacks saying “these extremists are trying to destabilize the country”. Speaking to AsiaNews by phone he added “We are very sorry for killings and we extend our sympathies to the families of victims”.

 

“There is no doubt,” he concluded “these incidents are continuously earning a very bad name for Pakistan as well as severely targeting the economy of the country, so the government should take stern action against extremists”.

 

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