14 dead, 57 hurt in blast outside luxury hotel in Peshawar
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14 dead, 57 hurt in blast outside luxury hotel in Peshawar

At least 14 people were killed and 57, including foreigners, injured on Tuesday when militants stormed a five-star hotel in the high-security cantonment of Pakistan's northwestern Peshawar city. Militants shot their way through a security post at the gate of the Pearl Continental Hotel and a suspected suicide bomber set off the truck-bomb in front of the lobby, security officials said.

world Updated: Jun 10, 2009 09:14 IST
Lehaz Ali

The death toll from a suicide blast at a luxury hotel in Pakistan's northwest Peshawar city has risen to 14, while 57 people were injured, a police official said Wednesday.

Early reports suggest at least two men shot their way through a security barrier and rammed a pick-up truck packed with explosives into the five-star Pearl Continental hotel late Tuesday, causing massive devastation.

"Three more dead bodies including the body of a police official were recovered from the debris this morning (Wednesday)," Abdul Ghafoor Afridi, a senor police official in Peshawar, told AFP.

"Now the death toll has risen to 14 and there are 57 injured. The number of casualties could rise as we fear that some people are still trapped under the debris. One portion of the hotel was totally destroyed," he added.

"Three people including a manger of the hotel are missing and we fear they are under the debris."

Two foreign United Nations workers -- Serbian Aleksandar Vorkapic with the refugee agency and Filipina Perseveranda So with the children's agency -- were killed, the UN said, while many foreigners were among the injured.

It is the seventh deadly bombing to hit the troubled city in a month, as fears grow that Taliban militants are exacting revenge for a punishing six-week military offensive against them in three northwest districts.

First Published: Jun 09, 2009 22:31 IST