Suicide Bomber Strikes Near Pakistan's Army HQ

A suicide bomber blew himself up Tuesday near the office of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and the nation's military headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi, killing at least seven people and wounding several others, police said.

Presidential spokesman Rashid Qureshi said Musharraf was safe inside Army House at the time.

Mohammed Saeed, a city police official, said a lone suicide bomber approached a police checkpoint on foot on a main road in the city and blew himself up.

Two police officers were among the five people killed. The wounded included women and children who were passing by in a small bus.

There was no claim of responsibility. However, Pakistan has been rocked by a string of suicide attacks mostly blamed on Islamic militants battling security forces near the Afghan border.

A suicide attack on the homecoming parade of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Oct. 18 in the southern city of Karachi killed more than 140 people.

In Rawalpindi, a garrison city just south of the capital Islamabad, two blasts on Sept. 4 killed 25 people and wounded more than 60, many of them on a Defense Ministry bus.

Last week, Pakistan deployed paramilitary forces to tackle militant supporters of a pro-Taliban cleric in the northwestern district of Swat. Officials say four days of violence in the once-peaceful mountain region has left around 100 people dead, most of them militants.

From NPR reports and The Associated Press

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