Sat, September 20, 2008
World > Asia-Pacific

At least 30 killed in Islamabad's blast

2008-09-20 16:16:18 GMT2008-09-21 00:16:18 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

A huge explosion ripped through part of the heavily guarded Marriott Hotel in Pakistan's capital Saturday, killing at least 30 people and wounding scores.

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- A blast occurred outside Marriott hotel in the center of Pakistan's capital Islamabad on Saturday evening, leaving at least 30 dead and scores of people injured, said the Pakistani Adviser to Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik.

Police suspected that an explosive-laden vehicle rammed into the gate of the hotel. A Danish diplomat and three U.S. citizens are among the injured, local Dawn TV channel reported.

Xinhua correspondent felt a strong tremor in the office of the Diplomatic Enclave about one kilometers from the hotel, which is surrounded by important buildings like Parliament house, Presidential house, Prime Minister's house and offices of ministers.

The blast caused fires in various parts of the five-star hotel building, and smashed windows of nearby buildings, including the building of state television.

The Marriott Hotel, a landmark building in the Pakistan capital, is a preferred hotel of visiting diplomats and businessmen.

The security has been put on alert across the country after the serious blast. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani condemned the blast.

The blast came just hours after Zardari vowed to firmly fight against terrorism and extremism while addressing a joint session of the parliament.

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