Taliban bombing near GHQ kills 13

Published January 20, 2014
Volunteers and relatives move the body of victim of a suicide bomb attack, at a hospital in Rawalpindi on January 20, 2014. — Photo by AFP
Volunteers and relatives move the body of victim of a suicide bomb attack, at a hospital in Rawalpindi on January 20, 2014. — Photo by AFP
Security officials cordon off the site of a suicide blast in Rawalpini January 20, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Security officials cordon off the site of a suicide blast in Rawalpini January 20, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Army troops secure a road leading to the site of a suicide bombing in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. — Photo by AP
Army troops secure a road leading to the site of a suicide bombing in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. — Photo by AP
Security officials examine the site of a suicide bombing in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. — Photo by AP
Security officials examine the site of a suicide bombing in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. — Photo by AP
A rescue worker collects evidence from the site of a suicide blast in Rawalpini January 20, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
A rescue worker collects evidence from the site of a suicide blast in Rawalpini January 20, 2014. — Photo by Reuters

RAWALPINDI: At least 13 people were killed Monday in a bomb blast near the R.A. Bazaar in Rawalpindi, a day after one of the deadliest attacks on security forces in recent years.

A further 18 people were wounded in the blast which tore through the R.A. bazaar, close to the army's General Headquarters (GHQ), at around 7.45 am.

Superintendent of Police Potohar said six army personnel and seven civilians lost their lives in the attack.

Haroon Joya, a senior police official at the scene of Monday's blast, also told reporters six soldiers and seven civilians had been killed, according to news agency AFP.

“It was a suicide attack; we are collecting evidence from the spot. We have collected some body parts suspected to be of the suicide bomber,” he said.

Earlier, the top government official in Rawalpindi, Sajid Zafar Dall, said 18 people were wounded in the blast.

“The attack occurred when children were going to school. Our initial assessment is that the bomber was possibly on a bicycle and he then approached the target on foot,” Dall said.

The injured persons were taken to nearby hospitals and several were said to be in a critical condition.

Eyewitnesses describe the power of the explosion

The blast left the market place a mess of twisted shutters and rubble, with pieces of human flesh scattered on the ground, an AFP reporter said.

A bomb disposal officer said the device used five kg (11 pounds) of “very high quality” explosives and was packed with ball bearings and iron shards to cause maximum carnage.

“I was reading a newspaper after opening my shop and all of a sudden I heard a big blast,” said Liaqat Ali, a grocery shop owner near the site.

“The intensity of the blast threw me off my chair. I rushed outside and saw smoke and smoke everywhere. I saw injured lying and screaming on ground.”

Police and commandos cordoned off the area as ambulances took wounded to a nearby military hospital.

TTP claims responsibility

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed Monday's attack as ‘payback’ for a deadly military raid on the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Rawalpindi in 2007.

“It was carried by one of our suicide bombers to take revenge for the Red Mosque massacre,” he told AFP.

Condemnation

President Mamnoon Hussain and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain strongly condemned the blast.

The attack came a day after a TTP bombing, targeting a security forces convoy, killed 20 people and injured 30 others near Razmak gate in Cantt area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Bannu district on Sunday.

Opinion

Is it child abuse?
24 Sep 2021

Is it child abuse?

The SNC’s language mix doesn’t address our children’s emotional needs.
The gathering storm
Updated 24 Sep 2021

The gathering storm

The growing US-China rivalry has transformed the geopolitical scene, in particular the Asian strategic landscape.
New realities and challenges
Updated 23 Sep 2021

New realities and challenges

Will the Afghan Taliban entrust to the UN the responsibility of receiving and disbursing all aid?

Editorial

24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...
Dialogue, at last
Updated 23 Sep 2021

Dialogue, at last

The govt has attempted to make the ECP controversial at a time when its input is critical for the poll reforms
AUKUS controversy
Updated 23 Sep 2021

AUKUS controversy

Instead of flexing its military muscle, the Western bloc needs to engage China at the negotiating table.
Provocative act
Updated 23 Sep 2021

Provocative act

Afghan Taliban flags have been found hoisted at Jamia Hafsa seminary three times since Aug 21.