Five killed in suicide attack at UN office in Islamabad


A suicide bomber killed five United Nations workers in an attack at an office in Pakistan's capital of Islamabad.

The suicide bomber penetrated security at the World Food Program offices and detonated inside the building, killing four Pakistanis and an Iraqi national. Six Pakistanis were also wounded in the blast. Two employees are said to be in critical condition.

Pakistani police are attempting to determine how the bomber was able to get past the security measures in the capital. The UN compound is housed with other foreign offices and embassies in a high security district. Security checkpoints and blast walls ring the compounds.

"We are investigating how he managed to enter inside the building," Bani Amin, the deputy inspector general of police operations told AFP. "There are scanners, there are cameras, and strict security arrangements."

The blast in Islamabad is the first since June 6, when a suicide bomber killed two policemen in an attack on a police building.

The Taliban have penetrated the high security in Islamabad in previous attacks. Eight people were killed and more than 30 were wounded in a suicide car bombing outside the Danish embassy in June 2008. In April 2009, a suicide bomber killed eight paramilitary policemen in an attack on a headquarters near a United Nations compound that houses the UN Human Rights Council.

The Taliban have promised they would initiate attacks in Pakistan if military operations in the tribal areas are not halted. Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, conducted a press conference yesterday with other Taliban leaders to dismiss reports of his death and Taliban infighting, and said the attacks would begin again. Over the past three years, the Taliban have conducted major suicide attacks and assaults in the cities of Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Peshawar, as well as in numerous other towns and cities throughout the country.



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READER COMMENTS: "Five killed in suicide attack at UN office in Islamabad"

Posted by Dave at October 5, 2009 12:04 PM ET:

The inhumanity of these terrorists continues to surprise me. How can they feign holiness and then justify bombing a food bank for the poor? I understand that they read about Mohammads aggression for Islam and see that as a green light to kill but I'm sure Mohammad would have drawn the line somewhere before charity workers. They are quickly losing support across Pakistan just like their Salafist brethren AQI did in Iraq for similar reasons. When they wear out their welcome, they may look back at actions like this to figure out why.

Posted by Tyler at October 5, 2009 12:23 PM ET:

Al Qaeda killing five fellow Muslims who were working to help feed starving Muslims.

Way to win hearts and minds jihadis. This is proof of why you'll lose.

Posted by Spooky at October 5, 2009 2:44 PM ET:

Spring is for Afghanistan and Winter is for Pakistan.

Lovely.

With the upcoming round of urban attacks in Pakistan, one has to wonder if the civillian regime would survive this round, literally and politically. If it does, it would only be through major progress against the Taliban, including a victory in Waziristan. If it happens, yay for us all.

On the other hand, if they do a paltry job (or if, God forbid, the terrorists make a successful hit on one of the power players of the current regime), PMLN will take them to the dog house and then we get Sharif. Whether he's friendly to the Islamists as PPP supporters say or if he's the actual man for the job doesn't matter, because of the weeks or months it will take to form a new government with the current calculus of the National Assembly being what it is.

I'm not including the Army as a player yet because under Kiyani, it has proven its self-control. Which is a shame then that Kiyani's retiring in November next year, along with a fair portion of the current general staff, some of whom are in high positions.

Posted by David M at October 6, 2009 10:06 AM ET:

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/06/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Posted by Zeissa at October 7, 2009 3:55 AM ET:

The inhumanity of these terrorists continues to surprise me. How can they feign holiness and then justify bombing a food bank for the poor? I understand that they read about Mohammads aggression for Islam and see that as a green light to kill but I'm sure Mohammad would have drawn the line somewhere before charity workers. They are quickly losing support across Pakistan just like their Salafist brethren AQI did in Iraq for similar reasons. When they wear out their welcome, they may look back at actions like this to figure out why.
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You obviously don't understand Islam then.
Theirs is a moderately to strongly radical interpretation, but it is more theologically valid than for example Muslim liberal charismatics like Salman Rushdie.