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Bomb Blast Kills 7 in Pakistan - 2001-08-11


Authorities in Pakistan say a powerful bomb blast has left at least seven people dead and several injured in central Punjab province. Pakistani police officials say the bomb was planted in an auto-rickshaw, which was carrying passengers in the eastern city of Gujrat. They say most of the deaths occurred instantly.

A woman and three children are among the victims. Witnesses are quoted as saying human limbs littered the scene and the street was splashed with blood.

There is no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, which officials say is the worst in Pakistan this year.

Rahim Rajput is the deputy inspector general of police in the region. He says the powerful plastic bomb went off in a thickly populated part of the city. Mr. Rajput says police are still clueless about the attackers. "Well, we have not been able to pinpoint any attackers as such, but all the circumstances lead us to the conclusion that it is an act of terrorism," he said

There has been a series of bomb explosions in Pakistan this year killing and wounding scores of people. Officials have blamed neighboring India for what it calls these "acts of terrorism." India denies the charge and in turns blames Pakistan for carrying out such activities in its territory.

Pakistan's military leader General Pervez Musharraf had ordered an "all out offensive" against terrorism after the high-profile killing of a businessman in the port city of Karachi last month. The murder has shocked the nation. At a conference in the Pakistani capital last week, General Musharraf expressed frustration with his government's failure to stop the violence. "I wish I could personally go and shoot their killer," he said. "I am capable of doing that. I wish I leave [my job] and go after these killers myself."

Pakistani officials have said the government is planing to introduce stringent laws to deal with political, sectarian and ethnic violence that they say is de-stabilizing the country.