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Double suicide blast kills 18 in Pakistan, claim officials

Double suicide blast kills 18 in Pakistan, claim officials

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the Pakistani military's main arms factory yesterday, killing at least 18 people and wounding 100 more, security officials said.
The attackers struck almost simultaneously outside two gates of the huge factory in the northern town of Taxila, near the capital Islamabad, local police chief Nasir Durrani said.
It was the second incident of suspected militant violence in Pakistan since key U.S. ally Pervez Musharraf resigned as president on Monday, leaving the pursuit of the "war on terror" to the fragile coalition government.
"Two men apparently blew themselves up outside the factory during a shift change. The bombers were on foot and they exploded themselves less than a minute apart," he said.
A senior security official said that at least 18 people were confirmed killed. Durrani said he had reports of up to 20 dead but they were unconfirmed.
Government collapse
Pakistan's coalition government appeared close to collapse yesterday after former premier Nawaz Sharif threatened to quit if judges sacked by ousted president Pervez Musharraf are not restored.
Sharif's threat comes a day before the leaders of the coalition that won elections in February, headed by the party of slain ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto, are to hold crucial talks on the issue.
But in a sign that Bhutto's party is seeking to move forward on its own, MPs backed her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, to replace Musharraf as president of the nuclear-armed Islamic republic.
"If the judges are not restored we will perhaps be forced to sit in the opposition," Sharif said in an interview published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.


Updated : 2021-04-15 05:21 GMT+08:00