Oggi pomeriggio c’è stato un grave attentato a Islamabad, la capitale del Pakistan, che ha ucciso almeno 40 persone e ne ha ferite almeno 100. E’ accaduto fuori il Mariott Hotel, dove alloggiava una delegazione della World Bank. Molti piani dell’hotel sono andati a fuoco mentre il Primo ministro Yousuf Raza Gilani dava una cena a cui paretecipava il presidente Asif Ali Zardari e il capo dell’esercito Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
Questo è l’articolo di BBC News e l’articolo di The Hindu (scusate ma non si riesce ad aprire e lo copio e incollo dalla mia email).
News Update Service
Saturday, September 20, 2008 : 2215 Hrs
40 killed, 100 injured in blast outside Islamabad hotel
Islamabad (PTI): At least 40 people were killed and 100 injured in a massive explosion at the Marriott hotel which was gutted after a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the main gate of the five-star hotel in the heart of Pakistani capital.
ARY TV Channel reported that at least 40 people had died in one of the worst terror attacks in the history of Pakistan. The toll is likely to go up, police said.
Several floors of the hotel were seen on fire. The Hotel is popular among foreigners and several American Embassy officials were reported to be inside the hotel.
The blast left a vast crater some 20 feet deep and 30 feet wide in front of the main building where flames leapt from the windows and rescuers ferried a stream of bloodied bodies from the gutted building.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was hosting an Iftar dinner at the nearby Prime Minister’s Secretariat. The event was attended by President Asif Ali Zardari and Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. There was no reports of anyone being injured at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.
The President’s House is located near the 290-room hotel which is a popular haunt among foreigners.
The blast was so powerful that the windowpanes of nearby buildings broke down. The blast was heard over a distance of a kilometre.
The explosion destroyed two dozen cars parked outside the hotel and uprooted trees and sparked a fire in the hotel. Several guests were also evacuated.
Television channels reported that several foreigners were among the victims.
Commandoes and police personnel cordoned off the site of the blast. TV channels beamed footage of passersby helping the injured into ambulances that rushed to the area.
The Marriott hotel was targeted earlier on January 26 last year, when a suicide bomber tried to storm the building hours before the Indian High Commissioner was to host a Republic Day reception there.
Several witnesses said a large truck had driven towards the hotel gate before exploding. There were also reports that an explosive laden car was in front of the truck that rammed into the hotel gate.
A World Bank delegation was reportedly staying in the hotel.
Security personnel cordoned off the whole area around the blast site near Marriot Hotel. After the blast, emergency has been imposed in the hospitals in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Security has been intensified throughout the country.
According to eye-witnesses, there are large number of injured lying around. At least 25 people including foreigners were brought to Polyclinic hospital.