Thirty-five people died on Monday in Rawalpindi as a suicide bomber blew himself up in a high security zone, continuing a wave of terror that has been unleashed in Pakistan as its military fights militants in the South Waziristan area.
The bomber, who was on a motorcycle, blew himself up in front of a bank building, near Shalimar Hotel, next to the landmark Mall Road in Rawalpindi.
The area where the incident took place is next to Pearl Continental Hotel, the city’s major hotel, and within walking distance of the army headquarters.
Eyewitnesses said that after the attack, bodies could be seen strewn over a wide area in a car parking lot of the bank. More than 45 people were feared injured in the attack.
Police officials said some army officers and personnel were also killed and injured in the bombing. The attack comes on the same day as the army claimed that it had made some significant advances in its war offensive in South Waziristan.
An army spokesman told media that a kilometre-long tunnel had been discovered where it was claimed that suicide bombers were trained.
However, Monday’s attack, which took place in Rawalpindi, which is seen as the home of the army, again puts pressure on the Pakistan government to back down on its offensive. Some quarters are suggesting that the terror attacks could be ended if the government sat down and talked to the militants and did not pursue them militarily. They say the civilian toll of the current policy has been unbearably high.
In October alone, more than 300 people were killed in different terror attacks across the country.