US condemns terror attack in Islamabad

September 21st, 2008 - 3:39 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 21 (Xinhua) The US Saturday condemned the terrorist attack in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad that left more than 60 people dead and scores injured. “The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack that took place in Islamabad today,” US National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in a statement.

“This is a reminder of the threat we all face. The US will stand with Pakistan’s democratically elected government as they confront this challenge,” he said.

A suicide bomber drove a truck packed with explosives into the Marriott Hotel in the heart of the Pakistani capital Saturday evening, killing at least 62 people including foreigners and setting ablaze one of the best known hubs of the country’s elite.

The devastating attack, one of the worst even by the standards of increasingly lawless Pakistan, took place just a kilometre from Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s house where President Asif Ali Zardari, army chief General Ashfar Parvez Kayani and over 300 MPs were at an Iftar dinner.

Authorities said at least 120 people were injured, many suffering extensive burns, in the terror strike that sent orange flames and thick smoke billowing out of the hotel.

And what was a bloody disaster turned worse as gas lines running to the hotel’s kitchen exploded and a huge ball of fire quickly enveloped the hotel.

It is feared that the hotel, a landmark and a preferred destination for diplomats and businessmen, could simply collapse.

The explosion left a 20-foot deep crater at the entrance.

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