ISLAMABAD: Twin bomb attacks rocked Pakistan’s capital Islamabad early yesterday, killing one person and injuring another, officials said.
The first blast took place around 2:00am in an upmarket shopping area close to the city centre.
“It is not yet clear whether a suicide bomber was involved or not... both victims were watchmen,” Chaudhry Hafiz Hussain, a senior police official said. Local TV showed broken glass and branches strewn across the pavement.
Abdul Majeed, another police official, said by telephone a separate bomb had gone off in another area of Islamabad around half an hour later, with no one hurt. “The bomb disposal squad is examining the site to ascertain the nature of the second blast,” he said.
The attacks were the first to strike the capital since an explosion tore through a fruit and vegetable market in April, killing at least 22 people.
Terrorism in Pakistan has become a major and highly destructive phenomenon in recent years.
The annual death toll from terrorist attacks has risen from 164 in 2003 to 3318 in 2009, with a total of 35,000 Pakistanis killed between September 11, 2001 and May 2011.
According to the government of Pakistan, the direct and indirect economic costs of terrorism from 2000–2010 total $68bn.
President Asif Ali Zardari, along with former president and ex-Pakistan Army head Pervez Musharraf, have admitted that terrorist outfits were “deliberately created and nurtured” by past governments.
Yesterday’s incident came after three days of air strikes by the Pakistani military against militant hideouts which killed at least 75 people, in apparent retaliation against insurgent strikes and against foreign fighters, according to a security official.
A month-long ceasefire between Pakistan and the Taliban, who have waged a seven-year insurgency, expired last month. AFP