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Blast rocks Pak capital

world Updated: Jun 14, 2011 01:45 IST
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At least two people were killed and five others injured as a suicide bomber struck a private bank in Pakistan's capital Islamabad on Monday afternoon, according to Xinhua reporters on the spot.

Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, reported local Urdu TV channel ARY.

Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik condemned the terrorist attack.

Senior police officer Tahir Alam told local media that a suicide bomber blew himself up after he was stopped at the entrance of a private bank in the southern part of the city.

The bodyguard was killed on the spot and police cordoned off the scene shortly after the explosion. Five injured people have been shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, a main government-run hospital in the capital.

One eyewitness told Xinhua that a white Toyota Corolla car carrying three men pulled up in front of the bank and dropped a 20- to-25-year-old man with light beard and then drove away.

The blast happened when the man was about to enter the bank, said the eyewitness. The bank named Silk is jointly owned by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Lucy, a resident near the bank, told Xinhua that she heard a huge blast while she was sitting at home playing with her pet dog. Her house is just five-minute walk away from the bank which is located at a market.

On Sunday afternoon, at least three people were injured in a roadside bomb blast in the northern part of the city, the first of its kind this year.

Pakistani Taliban militants have launched a string of attacks to avenge the killing of the al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden by the US special force in Pakistan on May 2.

But none of them took place in the capital due to tightened security measures.

The two blasts in the capital might have indicated that the terrorists are now shifting their targets to put more pressure on the Pakistani government.