Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'I love the Socialists'

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

Deadly blast outside Islamabad's Marriott Hotel

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-12-10

A bomb exploded outside of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad's city center on Saturday, in an apparent suicide attack that killed at least 60 people and started a fire which ravaged the building.

At least 60 people were killed in a massive car bombing at the Marriott Hotel in the Pakistan capital Islamabad on Saturday and many people are trapped inside the burning building, police said.
   
Flames were seen shooting out of the hotel, a key meeting place for foreigners and one of the most carefully guarded sites in the city, after the powerful blast, which was heard from quite far away.
   
Police officials said it appeared to be a car bombing but could not confirm it had been a suicide attack. Ambulances were racing to the scene, and it was not immediately known how many people were wounded.

An officer at the scene said many people were still trapped in the hotel, which caught fire after the bombing on Saturday night.
   
The bomb was so powerful that it blew out windows in buildings about one kilometre (a half-mile) away. An AFP photographer saw at least 20 mutilated bodies amid the carnage at the scene.
   
The attack came just hours after new President Asif Ali Zardari, who faces a tough challenge in reining in a wave of Islamist militant violence, delivered his first address to parliament.
   
Pakistan, the world's only Islamic nuclear power, has faced a wave of bombings and other attacks for more than a year. Tribal areas along the Afghan border are believed to be a new stronghold for Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.
   
Militants have been extending their sway over northwestern Pakistan and have increasingly targeted the heavily secured capital.
   
Zardari was to meet US President George W. Bush on the sidelines of the annual debate of world leaders at the United Nations in New York next week. It was not immediately known if that trip would go ahead.
   
The Bush administration has accused Taliban Islamic militants and Al-Qaeda followers of using the unruly border areas as bases from which to direct a growing deadly insurgency in neighbouring Afghanistan.
   
Strains have emerged between Islamabad and Washington over strikes by US forces on the Pakistani tribal areas.
   
In private, US officials say that Pakistani leaders are not doing enough to flush out the militants and help stop the insurgency which has become the administration's main military headache.
   
But strikes against Pakistani territory, the tally of civilian casualties as well as reports that the US forces even conducted a ground raid into Pakistan on September 3 have fueled anti-American feeling in the country.
   
Islamabad has already protested the strikes and Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Kayani has pledged to safeguard the country's "territorial integrity."

Date created : 2008-09-20

COMMENT(S)