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Bomber had two targets

world Updated: Sep 22, 2008 00:57 IST
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The suicide bomber, who struck at the luxury Marriott hotel had probably intended to attack Pakistan’s Parliament during President Asif Ali Zardari’s maiden address there but switched to the ‘optional’ target after failing to enter the high-security area, officials said.

Rehman Malik, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Affairs, told reporters that he and the Interior Ministry experts believed the truck used in the attack tried to enter Islamabad’s “red zone” a high security area in which Parliament, Supreme Court, presidency and Prime Minister’s House are located at the time of Zardari’s speech.

Strict security arrangements put in place along the Constitution Avenue, and orders barring the entry of private vehicles prevented the suicide attacker from entering the area.

Malik said the attacker had two targets, “one direct and one optional”, and decided to strike at the Marriott.