US, UN condemn attacks on Benazir’s rally

November 14th, 2007 - 2:29 am ICT by admin  
“The United States condemns the violent attack in Pakistan and mourns the loss of innocent lives there,” White House National Security Spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, said.

“Extremists will not be allowed to stop Pakistanis from selecting their representatives through an open and democratic process,” Johndroe added.

U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said: “Our prayers are with the victims and their families. There is no political cause that can justify the murder of innocent people. Those responsible seek only to foster fear and limit freedom.”

Casey said the US stands with the people of Pakistan to eliminate terrorist threats, and to build a more open, democratic, and peaceful society.

UN spokeswoman Michele Montas said in a statement that Ban was “shocked” by the news of the attack, which took place as Bhutto’s convoy was making its way through the streets of Karachi soon after her return to Pakistan from Dubai after eight years of self-exile.

“The Secretary General strongly condemns this terrorist attack and … trusts that all political forces will act together to strengthen national unity,” she added.

At least 138 people were killed and hundreds injured late on Thursday night as suspected suicide bombers targeted Bhutto on her return.

Two explosions went off a minute apart shortly after midnight near Karsaz close to the vehicle Bhutto was travelling in, at the head of a procession of hundreds of thousands of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supporters who had flooded the streets of Karachi to welcome her.

“The blasts hit two police vehicles which were escorting the truck carrying Bhutto. The target was the truck,” said a senior Karachi police official.

The attack reportedly bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda and resembled assassination attempts by militants linked to the terrorist network on President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in recent years.

The Pakistan Interior Ministry, however, has confirmed 70 deaths in the attack.

Officials at six hospitals in Karachi reported over 130 dead and about 600 wounded, making it one of the deadliest bombings in Pakistan’s history. (ANI)

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