Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Explosion in Pakistan

© 2009 AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary

Suspected suicide attackers set off a car bomb Wednesday in Lahore, Pakistan that ruined a police building and took the walls off of the top intelligence service in the city. 30 people died in the bombing and at least 250 were wounded.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said this has been one of the deadliest attacks in Pakistan this year. Malik said it could be rebellion against the government's military offensive to drive Taliban militants out of the Swat valley.

The recent attacks in Lahore, Pakistan's second-largest city near the Indian border, have sparked fear that fighting will spread beyond the northwest region next to Afghanistan.

Police said no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but two suspects have been detained. Senior minister in the Punjab provincial government Raja Riaz said that at least nine police officers and several intelligence agents were killed, but the rest of the dead and people wounded are civilians that got caught in explosion, which was in a busy part of downtown.

Although U.S. Officials and others have accused the Inter-Services intelligence agency of having ties to militant groups including the Taliban in Afghanistan. But the agency has also helped capture and interrogate al-Qaida terrorist suspects. They have also assisted the military's campaign against militants along the border.

President Asif Ali Zardari said his government was dedicated to pushing terrorists out and he condemned the attack.

The military predicted that militants will be cleared out of Mingora, the largest town in the Swat Valley, in the next few days.

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