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Asia-pacific

Army brigadier killed in Islamabad shooting

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-10-22

A Pakistani army brigadier and his driver were killed on Thursday when gunmen attacked his car as he was on his way to work, police said. October has seen a spate of violent extremist attacks in the country.

AFP - Gunmen riding a motorbike ambushed a military jeep in Pakistan's capital, unleashing a hail of bullets that killed two soldiers in a brazen daylight raid on Thursday, officials said.

It was the second attack in Islamabad in three days, following a suicide attack that killed five people and with Pakistan battered by violence blamed on Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked extremists leaving more than 185 dead this month.

Security forces rushed to the leafy residential district where the ambush took place as the attackers fled on their motorbike, police said.

"Two (soldiers) are dead, including one officer. There is one wounded, he is an army soldier," Doctor Altaf Hussein, a spokesman for Islamabad's main PIMS Hospital, told AFP.

The vehicle was riddled with bullets, its tyres punched out and windscreen shattered as army and police commandos cordoned off the area in the upmarket G-11 sector, television footage showed.

Pakistan is on heightened alert, braced for extremist attacks with the military pressing a major offensive against Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) in South Waziristan, part of the lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border.

Millions of students have been kept at home this week as Pakistan shut all schools and colleges after a suicide attack at a university in the capital on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the ambush on military officials and said Wednesday that a string of attacks had made the government "even more resolute in our commitment to eradicate the evil of militancy".

Some schools shut earlier this week and the rest of the country followed suit after two suicide bombers blew themselves up at Islamabad's International Islamic University, killing five people.

Tuesday's university bombing was the seventh major militant attack in just over a fortnight and the first since the military launched what officials vowed would be a knockout blow against the Taliban in South Waziristan.

It came after a raid on army headquarters left 23 people dead and five UN World Food Programme workers were killed when a suicide bomber dressed in military uniform detonated his explosives in their Islamabad office.


Date created : 2009-10-22

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