Three killed in Pakistan suicide bombing (Lead)

November 11th, 2008 - 10:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Nov 11 (IANS) At least three people were killed and over 20 injured in a suicide bombing that rocked a sports complex in Pakistan’s troubled Peshawar, soon after an athletic event concluded Tuesday evening, sources said.The blast occurred at a gate of the Qayyum Stadium. North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Governor Owais Ghani and senior provincial minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour had just left the place after attending the concluding ceremony of the inter-provincial games.

A police officer said a suicide bomber tried to enter the stadium from the gate reserved for VIPs.

“When the security officials tried to stop the attacker, he blew himself up killing two other persons and injuring seven,” NWFP police chief Naveed Malik told reporters.

However, hospital sources said 20 injured were admitted and they received two dead bodies including that of a policeman.

Four vehicles were also destroyed in the explosion.

About 1,200 athletes, including women, participated in the third Inter-provincial games in the violence-hit capital of NWFP.

The police chief said all the athletes and VIPs were safe.

According to police sources, five ministers and some politicians attended the concluding ceremony.

Around 500 people have been killed in the recent spate of violence in the troubled NWFP that borders the tribal areas along Afghanistan. The violence has witnessed a surge since the democratically elected government led by the Pakistan Peoples Party took over in March this year.

The attacks are blamed on pro-Al Qaeda Taliban which is critical of the US war against terrorism and drones attacks inside Pakistan by the Afghanistan-based international forces let by America.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani warned the US to stop attacks inside Pakistan.

“We won’t tolerate more attacks by the American forces inside our country,” Gilani told parliament, a day after seven people were killed in the latest drone attack in tribal areas of the country.

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