Suicide bomber kills Pakistani army general, six others

February 25th, 2008 - 8:00 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
(Lead)
By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, Feb 25 (IANS) Seven people, including a Pakistani army general, were killed and at least 30 injured in the garrison city of Rawalpindi in a renewed terror attack after the last week’s general elections, police and hospital sources said. Surgeon General Lt Gen Mushtaq Baig of Army’s medical corps was killed along with his driver and five others when a car loaded with explosives rammed into his car outside the military hospital, the police said.

“It was a suicide attack. We are still awaiting details of casualties,” Kamran, a police constable who was 200 metres away from the blast, told IANS.

He said as the general’s car moved out of the hospital on to the Mall road, a car rammed into it, resulting into a huge blast. The General, his driver, bodyguard and four passers-by were killed on the blast. It was not yet known whether the attacker was operating alone.

The blast comes a week after the general elections and on the day Asif Ali Zardari, who with his son Bilawar heads the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) which has emerged the largest single party, offered readiness to cooperate with President Pervez Musharraf, a key US ally in the “war on terror.”

Rawalpindi, the home base of Pakistan’s army, has seen a series of attacks on security forces in recent months, which have been blamed on Al Qaeda and Taliban militants operating from Pakistan’s tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

President Musharraf himself survived two attacks only a few kilometres from the current blast site over the seven years he has ruled Pakistan.

Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun and blast attack in the same city Dec 27 immediately after she wound up an election rally.

After the elections, Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsood announced he was ready to negotiate with the new government. However, Zardari, who is likely to form the government in at the centre and at least two provinces, has not yet reacted to Mehsood’s statements.

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