Rawalpindi, Dec 27: A suicide bomber struck shortly after Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto addressed a political rally in Rawalpindi on Thursday, killing at least 20 people, witnesses said.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene could see body parts and flesh scattered at the back gate of the Liaqat Bagh park where Bhutto had spoken. He counted about 20 bodies, including police, and could see many other wounded people. Police official Abdul Karim said Bhutto had already left the area in her vehicle when the blast went off, just minutes after her speech to thousands of supporters.
Another police official, Saud Aziz, said it was a suicide attack.
Farahtullah Babar, spokesman for Bhutto party, said her vehicle was about 50 meters away from blast, just after leaving the rally venue in Rawalpindi.
"She had just crossed the gate when we heard a deafening sound. We could feel its impact but by the grace of God she is safe," he said.
The road outside was stained with blood. People screamed for ambulances. Others gave water to the wounded lying in the street.
The clothing of some of the victims was shredded and people put party flags over their bodies.