News / Asia

Suicide Bomber Attacks Islamabad Bank

Pakistani security officials examine the site of a suicide bombing in Islamabad, Pakistan. A suicide bomber blew himself up at a busy market in the Pakistani capital, killing at least one person in the first bombing in Islamabad in over a year and a half,
Pakistani security officials examine the site of a suicide bombing in Islamabad, Pakistan. A suicide bomber blew himself up at a busy market in the Pakistani capital, killing at least one person in the first bombing in Islamabad in over a year and a half,
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A suicide bomber struck an Islamabad bank on Monday, killing one person in the first such attack in the Pakistani capital in more than a year and a half. 

Monday's blast ripped through the small bank in the Pakistani capital - shattering glass and damaging nearby vehicles.

The bomber detonated his explosives after being intercepted by a bank security guard.  

Speaking at the scene of the attack, Islamabad’s police chief, Wajid Durrani spoke to the press saying that it was the bomber and the guard that stopped him for inspection that died in the blast and he promised to launch an investigation. But that it would only be then that there would be an explanation as to how he was able to enter the area.

No group claimed responsibility for the first suicide bombing in Islamabad since December 2009, when one person was killed in an attack on navy headquarters.

There are a number of new police checkpoints in the capital and Monday's suicide bombing happened far from any sensitive or high value targets.

Security has been in a state of high alert following the May 2 killing of leader Osama bin Laden. The Pakistani Taliban has vowed to avenge the al-Qaida leader's death. Twin bombings on Saturday killed 34 people in the northwestern city of Pakistan.

The attacks come as US Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides holds economic and trade talks with Pakistani officials in Islamabad. Nides is the latest U.S. official to visit Pakistan in a bid to repair relations that were further strained following the covert U.S. raid that killed bin Laden.

Deputy Secretary Nides said Monday that Americans do recognize the high price that Pakistanis have paid in the ongoing war against terrorism.

"Pakistanis have suffered terribly at the hands of violent extremists," said Nides."Your army and security forces have paid a heavy price. We respect your sacrifice. We grieve with you over the loss of so many innocent people wantonly murdered by terrorists."

US officials have long been asking Pakistan to step up operations against extremists, particularly in the North Waziristan tribal area, where Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants have launched attacks against NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan. But Pakistani officials say they are already stretched thin fighting and will not be able to launch any such attack anytime in the near future.

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