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Car bomb attack on Pakistan's intelligence office kills 32

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, March 8 -- A car bomb, targeting the office of Pakistan’s main intelligence agency in the industrial city of Faisalabad on Tuesday, killed at least 32 people, lawmaker from the area said.

Member of National Assembly from Faisalabad, Abid Sher Ali, told the reporters that the office of Inter-Services Agency (ISI) was the main target of the attack.

Regional Police Officer, Aftab Cheema, however, said that an explosives-laden car exploded at a gas station.

Divisional Commissioner Tahir Husain and hospital sources confirmed that 24 people were killed and nearly 130 others were injured.

Sher Ali said that the unidentified men first threw hand grenades on the ISI office and later exploded the vehicle.

The blast also caused damages to the nearby Army Recruitment Center, office of Pakistan International Airlines and several other buildings. A woman airlines employee was among the dead, police said.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast. Taliban militants have carried out such attacks on the security forces and intelligence officers in the past.

The injured were transferred to nearby hospitals in the police rescue ambulances. Public also shifted the injured in private vehicles.

Hospitals authorities appealed to the public to donate blood due the large number of injured. A large number of people rushed to hospitals to donate blood.

Police said the car blew up at around 10:30 am local time at a gas station at the city’s Regency Plaza square. The blast caused a 7-foot deep and 15-foot wide crater in the ground besides damaging the gas station, three buildings and 10 vehicles. Police also detained a suspect who was injured in the incident.

Cheema said the explosives were hidden in the car and were likely to be detonated through remote control. Bomb disposal experts said some 40 kilogram explosives were used.

Witnesses said they saw bodies and injured who were at the station to get gas as many people use gas in their vehicles.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani expressed his sorrow over the loss of precious lives in a blast near the gas Station in Faisalabad, his office said.

Both leaders expressed sympathies with families of deceased as well as those injured in this incident. They directed the concerned organizations to provide best medical facilities to the injured.

**1412
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30287445



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