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Th0r S1mpson
03-11-08, 02:27 PM
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Two suicide bombers exploded a car Tuesday at a building containing the offices of Pakistan's national investigative agency, destroying it and killing and wounding people inside.

Rescue workers at the scene of the blast at the offices of the Federal Investigation Agency.

1 of 2 Police said 17 people died and 175 were wounded in the attack in Lahore, and three more were killed in a separate suicide bombing in an area of the city known as Model Town. All three bombers died.

The Federal Investigation Agency is a national investigative agency -- similar to the FBI in the United States -- and is surrounded by heavy security.

Two suicide car bombers drove their vehicle into the eight-story building housing the offices of the Federal Investigation Agency at about 9:30 a.m., according to the agency.

Lahore police describe the building, where about 1,000 people work, as destroyed.

Burning piles of rubble littered the streets surrounding the facility as rescue crews rushed to the scene looking for casualties. Watch cell phone video of the aftermath

Another suicide bomber drove a van into a house being used by an advertising agency in a residential area known as Model Town, killing at least three people. The bomber also died in the attack.

The attacks came as the country's new parliament clears the final hurdle to be sworn in.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but <B>it is not the first time bombers have hit high supposdely security targets in Pakistan.</B>

Just a week ago, twin suicide bombers set off explosives at the Pakistan Navy War College in Lahore, killing at least five people. In January, a suicide bomber apparently targeting police detonated an explosive outside a court in the city, killing at least 23 people.

President Pervez Musharraf and Caretaker Prime Minister Mohammadmian Soomro strongly condemned the attacks.

"The acts of terrorism cannot deter government's resolve to fight the scourge with full force," Musharraf said, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan. Soomro said every effort would be made to catch the culprits and punish them.

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The White House also released a statement condemning the attack and offering condolences to the families of the victims.

"Hundreds have already died this year as extremists continue to target innocent Pakistanis," White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

"We will stand with the Pakistani people as they seek to live in a democratic society free from this needless violence."

One consequence of the blast has been that Australia has pulled out of its planned cricket tour of Pakistan, due to start on March 29, because of security concerns. The tour was already in doubt following unease among the party about the security situation in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's new parliament will be sworn in next week after President Pervez Musharraf cleared the final hurdle for it to convene.

Musharraf Tuesday signed a summary of election results, a spokesman for the president told CNN, so the newly-elected lawmakers can now take the oath of office on Monday.

Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League-N won the majority of National Assembly seats in the February 18 parliamentary election.

They have formed a coalition and recently called on Musharraf to immediately convene parliament.

PPP, the party of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, is led by her widower Asif Ali Zardari. PML-N is led by former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The two parties' leaders said Sunday that they would reinstate the country's ousted Supreme Court justices within 30 days of parliament's first session.

Musharraf removed nearly all of the Supreme Court bench in November, days before it was set to rule against the legitimacy of his third term in office.

PPP party spokesman Farhat Ullah Babar welcomed Musharraf's announcement, but added he hoped the new parliament would have been formed earlier.

Babar said his party is ready to form a government with its coalition partners, which will undertake an agenda of reforming Pakistan's government. The coalition has not named a nominee for the prime minister post, saying that announcement will happen when parliament is called into session.

In a recent interview with CNN, Pakistan's Attorney General Malik Mohammed Qayyum said that Musharraf is legally protected for deposing the justices and other judges following his emergency order on November 3 -- and that there is no legal way of restoring the deposed judges.

While the PPP-PML-N coalition has agreed to work with the office of the presidency, their announcement on Sunday to restore the ousted justices set the stage for a power struggle with Musharraf, whom both parties have described as a dictator

Typo not mine. ;)

I know the impact this sort of thing would have here would be devastating. In Pakistan this is far more expected (even given increased security), but will their infrastructure be damaged just as severely? Any anticipated fallout?

03-11-08, 03:01 PM
It's one thing to kill innocent civilians, but when you get the Cricket tour canceled, now you will see the wrath of the Pakistanis. :grunt:

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