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Suicide Bomb Kills 8 in Pakistan

Authorities in Pakistan say that a suicide bomb attack on a military vehicle in the garrison city of Rawalpindi has killed at least eight people, including a senior army general. Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.

Eyewitnesses and officials say the suicide bomber struck the army vehicle on a busy road in Rawalpindi, instantly killing Lieutenant General Mushtaq Ahmed Baig and others.

The attack injured a number of people who have been taken to nearby hospitals for medical treatment.

Police and army personnel cordoned off the site of the blast and have launched an investigation.

Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema says the road was crowded with mid-afternoon traffic when the suicide bomber struck.

"The traffic had stopped because of the red signal and he came and exploded himself next to the general's car," said Cheema. "We have recovered some remains of the suicide bomber like his legs. He seems to be a 15-to-18 years-old young boy."

The spokesman says the general was the head of the Pakistan Army's medical corps. He blamed militants linked to al-Qaida and the Taliban for the attack.

The militants have carried out frequent deadly attacks against Pakistani security forces in recent months.

Pakistani authorities say that General Baig is the highest-ranking army officer to have been killed since Pakistan became a member of the U.S.-led anti-terror coalition in 2001.

Monday's suicide bombing took place a week after the country held largely peaceful parliamentary elections.

Islamic militants are also blamed for killing Pakistani opposition politician Benazir Bhutto and her 20 supporters in a gun and suicide bomb attack in Rawalpindi in December.