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January 10, 2008
Suicide Bomber in Pakistan kills 24
Violence continues apace in Pakistan as al-Qaeda attempts to keep the pot boiling with its signature suicide bombers wreaking havoc with civilians and military alike.
The latest attack occured in Lahore was aimed directly at the judicial system:
The blast in front of Lahore High Court was the latest in a wave of attacks targeting politicians and security forces ahead of Feb. 18 parliamentary elections. President Pervez Musharraf continued to put up a brave front, saying that he would "continue the fight against terrorism and extremism and not to be deterred by such acts," but there is a sense that the situation is spinning out of control.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion will likely fall on militants linked to Taliban and al-Qaida. It came as Scotland Yard investigators visited forensic laboratories elsewhere in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, to examine evidence in the assassination two weeks ago of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi, a city to the north.
"There were about 60 to 70 policemen on duty when a man rammed into our ranks and soon there was a huge explosion," said police officer Syed Imtiaz Hussain, who suffered wounds to his legs and groin. "
I saw the bodies of other policemen burning. It was like hell." The explosion left wounded lying in pools of blood, crying for help. TV news video showed at least four mangled bodies on the ground near a destroyed motorbike and a piece of smoking debris. Ambulance workers loaded victims onto stretchers as sirens wailed.
There have been 20 suicide attacks in the last few months that have killed more than 400 people in Pakistan.