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Bomb attack kills army general, 7 others near Pakistan's capital

Bomb attack kills army general, 7 others near Pakistan's capital

A suicide bomber struck a car carrying an army general on a busy road near Pakistan's capital Monday, killing him and at least seven other people, the army said.
The blast in Rawalpindi, a city just south of Islamabad where the military has its headquarters, revived concern about Islamic militancy in Pakistan just a week after moderates triumphed in parliamentary elections.
The suicide attack killed the army's surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Mushtaq Ahmed Baig, along with his driver, a guard and five civilians, an army statement said.
The general is apparently the highest-ranking military official to die in an attack since President Pervez Musharraf sided with Washington after the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
Musharraf survived at least three attempts on his life before he retired as army chief in November.
City police chief Saud Aziz told reporters at the scene that a black car, its top ripped off by the blast, belonged to the army. It was not immediately clear if the general had been in the car.
Dozens of troops and plainclothes security officials cordoned off the area, where at least six other cars were damaged. Plastic-gloved investigators gingerly gathered debris, including pieces of flesh, and put them in plastic bags.
Iqbal Ali, who had been walking toward a nearby government office to get an identity card, said he saw a man run into the road shortly before the explosion.
Suicide bombers have struck repeatedly in Rawalpindi in recent months, mostly targeting security forces. A gun and suicide bomb attack also killed opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in the city on Dec. 27.
Bhutto's party finished first in last Monday's parliamentary elections.
Supporters of Musharraf, a key ally of the U.S. in its war on terror, were trounced in the vote. However, all major political leaders have said they are committed to fighting extremism.


Updated : 2021-05-09 19:39 GMT+08:00