1 killed, 15 injured in restaurant blast in Pak

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Islamabad, Mar 15: At least one person was killed and 15 others, mostly foreigners, injured when a powerful bomb explosion rocked a restaurant here tonight, officials and witnesses said. The bomb was planted alongside the outer wall of an Italian restaurant in the bustling super market, some four kilometers from the Parliament, which is set to meet on Monday, hospital officials told reporters.

A female nurse in the US embassy was killed while 15 people, including American, Canadian, Japanese nationals and locals, injured in the explosion. The Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed that it was a bomb blast and not a suicide attack. Most of the people, who sustained injuries in the explosion were sitting in the lawns, the officials said. The injured were immediately shifted to Federal Government Services Hospital and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, where condition of at least three injured persons was said to be critical.

The explosion took place three days after the twin car suicide bombings in Lahore which left at least 32 people dead and more than 170 injured.

This was the fifth major terror attack in the country since February 25, when Surgeon General of Pakistani armed forces Lieutenant General Mushtaq Baig was killed, along with his driver and guard, in the garrison town of Rawalpindi.

At least 43 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the funeral prayers of a police official in the restive northwestern Swat Valley, followed by another suicide attack which killed at least 50 people at a jirga or assembly of elders in tribal area of Darra Adam Khel early this month.

More than 350 people have been killed in a series of suicide attacks and bomb explosions, mostly targeting military personnel in the tribal regions and the Northwestern Frontier Province since January this year.

The latest explosion comes two days before the inaugural session of the National Assembly, which has been convened for Monday.

The increased suicide attacks and explosions pose a great challenge for the new coalition government of Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), which agreed to form a coalition government after lengthy talks in Murree.

UNI

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