Dawn : Five dead in suicide blast near Musharraf's HQ

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Five dead in suicide blast near Musharraf's HQ

AFP | October 30, 2007

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan -- A suicide bomber blew himself up near President Pervez Musharraf's army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Tuesday, killing five people and injuring 11 others, officials said.

“It was a suicide attack. The area is sensitive -- we don't know what the exact target was. Five people were killed,” Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid told AFP.

The blast happened within a kilometre of Musharraf's military camp office in the city, and was also near the office of the chairman of Pakistan's joint chiefs of staff, witnesses said.

Private television channels said the attack occurred as Musharraf was meeting with top officials to discuss the security situation following a spate of recent attacks.

It was not immediately clear if that meeting was held in the Rawalpindi office.

But the interior ministry denied that the bomber meant to target the army.

“The suicide bomber blew himself up at a police post, killing five people. Eleven others were wounded including five policemen. It appears to be an attack targeting police,” Interior ministry spokesman Javed Cheema told AFP.

Police official Mohammad Tahir said that the bomber was on foot and was stopped by police at a checkpoint in the city.

“He then detonated explosives strapped to his body,” he said.

The victims included two policemen and a cyclist, he added.