Sunday, April 5, 2009

Suicide blast in Pakistan; 30 killed

ISLAMABAD: A suicide bomber on Sunday struck a religious gathering of the Shia community killing at least 30 people and injuring over 200 others
in Chakwal area of Pakistan's Punjab province, a day after terror attacks in the country claimed over two dozen lives.

The suicide attacker entered an Imambargah or prayer hall at Chakwal, located about 90 km from Islamabad, where about 2,000 worshippers had gathered for a religious function, and blew himself up.

Witnesses and reporters at the site said 30 people were killed and close to 200 people were injured. No group has claimed the responsibility for the attack.

A massive rescue operation was launched with dozens of ambulances being used to ferry the injured to hospitals in nearby cities like Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Officials in a hospital in Chakwal said about 10 of the injured were in a serious condition.

The terrorist assault came a day after a suicide bomber struck a paramilitary camp in the heart of Islamabad, killing eight security personnel and injuring five others.

Another suicide attack yesterday in the restive North Waziristan tribal agency left 17 civilians dead.

Militants have targeted Imambargahs and the minority Shia community in Sindh province in past and the North West Frontier Province in the past few months but today's attack was significant as it occurred in the Punjab province.

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