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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Explosion in Pakistan kills 25, injures 30

RIA Novosti

11:19 02/11/2009 NEW DELHI, November 2 (RIA Novosti) - At least 25 people were killed on Monday in a massive explosion in a city of Rawalpindi, near the capital of Islamabad, the CNN TV news channel reported from Pakistan.

Police Superintendent Ishtiaq Shah also said more than 30 people were injured in the attack, CNN reported.

The blast occurred near the Shalimar Hotel on Mall Road in the closely guarded city, which is home to Pakistan Army's headquarters and the State Bank of Pakistan.

Pakistan's Dawn TV channel reported that the hotel building was seriously damaged. The area was cordoned off by police, and rescuers, firefighters and doctors were working at the scene.

Among dead were people waiting in line at a cash machine, including two military officers.

Rawalpindi Police Chief Rao Muhammad Iqbal said the bomber rode up to the front of the National Bank in a motorcycle or a bicycle, although other reports said there could have been more than one attacker.

Last week a roadside bomb killed seven and injured 11 paramilitary soldiers in the tribal Khyber region in Pakistan's northwest.

The area separating Pakistan and Afghanistan has been a stronghold for Taliban radicals whofled Afghanistan after the U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban regime there in 2001, as well as for Al-Qaeda fighters.

The army launched an offensive in Khyber in September after a suicide bomber blew himself up near a border post, killing 22 police officers.

Pakistan started a separate offensive against Taliban in South Waziristan three weeks ago after a series of deadly suicide attacks.

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