At least three killed in Islamabad restaurant blast

March 16th, 2008 - 12:44 am ICT by admin  


Islamabad, March 15 (IANS) At least three people were killed and around 10, mostly foreigners, were injured in a blast in an Italian restaurant in the Pakistani capital Saturday evening, witnesses and local TV channels reported. The witnesses said they saw the injured being shifted in ambulances from the restaurant in a busy supermarket in central Islamabad, news agency Xinhua reported.

Private TV channel Geo TV reported on its website that one of those killed was a foreign woman and that this had been confirmed by officials.

The restaurant, Luna Caprese, is located in a supermarket complex in the heart of Pakistan’s capital and is frequented by expatriates, including diplomats, aid agency workers, and journalists, the website of the Dawn newspaper reported.

TV channels reported that three US diplomats were among those injured.

It was not clear what caused the blast at the restaurant at about 8.45 p.m. local time.

Anwar ul Haq, an employee, said that he saw eight injured lying in the restaurant after the blast.

There were 15 to 20 people, mostly foreigners, having dinner when the blast occurred.

The blast caused panic in the market, where a large number of people were busy shopping on the weekend.

The police cordoned off the main road outside the restaurant.

The Dawn website reported that the blast took place in the rear garden of the restaurant and destroyed the restaurant walls.

An employee of the restaurant said: “There are lots of injured people who have lost their limbs and legs. Foreigners were inside. It’s a very bad situation. We don’t know what has happened.

“It was a very powerful blast. There is a lot of blood here, the walls are splattered with it. I see lots of human flesh.”

Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro condemned the blast, according to the official APP news agency.

He expressed shock over the number of people and foreigners who were injured in the blast and ordered the local administration to provide them with best medical care.

Soomro also directed the authorities to take stringent steps and increase security in the capital.

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