Almost a year to the day that news broke of Pakistan’s truce with jihadists in North Waziristan comes the worst form of proof that such negotiating and dealmaking has not made anyone more secure except the jihadists themselves.
“Suicide bombers kill 25, wound 70, in Pakistan,” from Reuters:
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – Two suicide bombers struck near the heart of the Pakistani military on Tuesday, killing 25 people and wounding 70, many of them Defence Ministry staff on their way to work in the city of Rawalpindi.
There was no claim of responsibility but the Interior Ministry said evidence pointed to Al Qaeda-linked militants who are battling security forces near the Afghan border.
One bomb blew up a bus carrying Defence Ministry staff about a kilometre (half a mile) from army headquarters, said military spokesman Major-General Waheed Arshad.
The second went off in a market area of Rawalpindi, the sister city of Islamabad where Musharraf and many other top military officials live and where Islamabad’s international airport is located.
“˜Both were suicide bombings but I have no detail about how they were carried out,” Arshad said.
Both went off at around 7:20 a.m. (0220 GMT).
Earlier, some officials said the staff on the bus were from an agency involved in atomic work, while others said they were from a security agency.
“˜The bus was totally packed. I saw 15 to 20 mutilated bodies,” said Tanveer Ahmed, a government employee waiting for another bus near the spot, quickly cordoned off by soldiers.
The body and roof of the bus were almost totally blown away. Pieces of flesh and strips of clothing hung limply from the twisted metal frame as rescuers struggled to pull out the dead.
Pakistan has suffered a surge of militant violence since July, when commandos stormed a radical mosque in Islamabad and a peace pact broke down with militants in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border.
While most of the violence has been in the northwest, there were two suicide bomb attacks in Islamabad in July.
Deputy Information Minister Tariq Azim Khan said a suicide bomber had apparently managed to board the bus that was blown up.
Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said the blasts were part of a pattern of attacks.
“˜You know what is going on in the tribal areas, it is an extension of that,” he said, referring to semi-autonomous tribal lands on the Afghan border where Al Qaeda and and pro-Taleban militants are battling security forces.