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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taliban claim responsibility for intelligence office attack

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, March 9, IRNA -- Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the car bomb attack on the office of the country’s major intelligence agency in the industrail eastern city of Faisalabad on Tuesday, which killed 32 people.

Nearly 130 more people were also injured in the attack when the car bomb exploded near the office of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) police and a lawmaker from the area said.

Member National Assembly from Faisalabad, Abid Sher Ali, told the reporters that the bomb targetted the ISI office. Regional Police Officer, Aftab Cheema, also said that the blast took place near the ISI office.

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 damage 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.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack.

The spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan told the media over phone that the attack was revenge of the killing of a militant leader, Dr Omar Kundi alias Maaz. He said Kundi belonged to the city of Dera Ismail Khan in the northwest and was killed by the ISI officials in a raid in Faisalabad last year.

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.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30288884

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