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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Marriot Hotel-Islamabad suicide attack

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The biggest Suicide blast in history of Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: At least 60 people were killed, including foreigners and scores others injured, many of them seriously, when an explosives laden truck rammed into Marriot Hotel here on Saturday. More casualties are expected; this is referred as the biggest Suicide attack in history of Pakistan. People are calling it 9/11 of Pakistan. The blast created a 20ft (6m) deep crater, and destroyed the entire front section of the hotel. According to reports 1000 kg of explosive was used.

Situation in Hospitals of Islamabad:
Several dozens people have been brought to the local hospitals including PIMS and PolyClinic. Emergency has been declared in the hospitals of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Ambulances rushed to the scene, where a fire also burned, smoke hovered and the carcasses of vehicles were scattered. A PPP Parliamentarian Jaam Karam Ali has also been seriously injured in blast. Police at the scene said 20 bodies had been taken away and people were still trapped inside. A crane was brought in to try to get people out. TV channels are requesting for blood donations; as dozens are in need of blood.

Rescue Activities
Rescue work has taken the pace however police is feared to be trapped in the building. Army and Civil Aviation has been called to take the control of situation. Furthermore the Bomb Disposal Squad has reached to find out the nature of explosive. It is reported that several dozen people are trapped in the debris of Hotel. According to Police building of hotel has become dangerously vulnerable.

Hotel was destroyed:
The powerful explosion caused fire in many parts of the hotel besides damaging the buildings around the hotel. According to eye witnesses almost whole hotel building caught up fire due to fire in pipe line.
Fire began in at least two places in the building and spread to other parts of the 290-room hotel, located at the foot of the Margalla hills in the city centre. Windows in buildings hundreds of meters away were damaged. This is the third attack on Marriot hotel; previously it was a blast through a labtop, then a suicide bomber blew himself at the back gate of hotel on January 26 2007.

The Marriott in Islamabad is a favorite place for foreigners to stay and gather, and it has previously been targeted by militants. Sadr-ud-din Haswani the owner of Marriot hotel has said that it must have been a big explosion.

There was a large crater in the road by the hotel’s heavy security barriers. The street was littered with debris and broken branches from roadside trees and acrid smoke drifted in the air. The blast brought down the ceiling in a banquet room where there were about 200 to 300 people at a meal to break the fast during the holy month of Ramazan, moreover Today was weekend and more and more people were out in hotel.

Timing of Blast:
The timing for the last was very important today President Asif ali Zardari addressed the joint session of Parliament. In his address he promised to mitigate terrorism. A few hours after the attack, he addressed the nation on television, saying he too knows the pain of terrorism because his wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was killed in December as she was campaigning for the post. “My heart cries tears of blood, I can understand your pain, I want to ask you to turn this pain into your strength,” he said, describing the extremism as “a cancer, which we will finish.

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility:
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, and its exact cause was unclear. But Pakistan, a U.S. ally in the war on terror, has faced a wave of militant violence in recent weeks following army-led offensives against insurgents in its border regions, though the capital has avoided most of the bloodshed.

Security lapses:
According to reports interior ministry already had the information regarding these suicide attacks. This is the fourth suicide attack in Pakistan killing hundreds of innocent people in South and North Waziristan and Islamabad. People are calling it a security lapses; despite the fact of having information and threats about such incident; government did not take sufficient measure to stop such incident. Whole country is put on high alert. Rest of the Hotels in Islamabad have been evacuated.

Reaction of High Ups
President Asif Ali Zaradri and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani have strongly condemned the incident. The President and the Prime Minister expressed shock and grief over the loss of innocent lives and said the perpetrators of such heinous crime would be brought to justice.
Meanwhile Information Minister Sherry Rehman has also strongly condemned the blast and said such cowardly acts cannot deter the government’s commitment to fight terrorism and extremism.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik has also condemn this heinous act. Talking to media in front of Marriott hotel, Malik said, the nature of blast is yet to be determined.

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Rubab Saleemhttp://www.rubabsaleem.com
Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times
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