Pakistan gets ‘a message’ against closer co-operation with U.S.
A suicide bomber detonated a dump truck packed with a ton of explosives outside the Marriott in Pakistan’s capital Saturday, setting off a fiery blast that shattered the luxury hotel, killed at least 42 people and wounded hundreds, officials and witnesses said.
The targeting of the American hotel chain was one of the largest terrorist attacks ever in Pakistan and came at a time of growing anger in Pakistan over a wave of cross-border strikes on militant bases by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. At least one American was killed and several were wounded.
The five-storey Marriott had been a favourite spot for foreigners as well as Pakistani politicians and business people to stay and socialize in Islamabad despite repeated militant attacks on it. The bomb went off close to 8 p.m., when four restaurants inside would have been packed with diners at the hour that Muslims break their daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
(…) Analysts said the attack is a warning from Islamic extremists to the new civilian leadership of Pakistan that it should end already-strained co-operation with the United States to pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban militants entrenched in the lawless tribal region along the border with Afghanistan.
“The attack on the hotel is a message to the Pakistani leadership: End all co-operation with the Americans or pay the price,” said Brian Glyn Williams, associate professor of Islamic history at the University of Massachusetts. “Both sides see Pakistan as a vital battlefield in their global struggle and clearly Pakistani civilians are paying the price for being in the middle of this struggle,” he said.
Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik said the Czech ambassador to Pakistan was among the dead.
One American citizen has also been confirmed dead.
The blast has also left 250 people wounded, including 21 foreigners.
Pakistani President Zardari vows to fight terrorism. That would be great, but I am not very confident that with the present situation, he is going to do anymore than he actually does…
(I) Gateway Pundit has the video of the explosion, released by the Pakistani Government: