Suicide attack on Pak hospital: 17 killed, 20 injured

A car bomb exploded outside a hospital for Shiite Muslims in NW Pak killed 17, injuring 20.

Last Updated: Dec 11, 2010, 00:44 AM IST

Peshawar: At least 17 people were killed
and 20 others injured today when a suicide bomber rammed an
explosives-laden vehicle into a hospital being built by the
minority Shia community in Pakistan`s restive northwest
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The Hazara Hospital in Hangu town collapsed following
the blast and several persons were buried under the rubble,
witnesses said.

Rescue workers and local residents pulled bodies and
the injured out of debris.

Seventeen people were killed and 20 others injured in
the attack, officials said. Several nearby buildings were
damaged by the powerful blast.

Rescue efforts were hampered by the lack of heavy
machinery and a power outage caused by the explosion.
Kohat Commissioner Khalid Khan said the bomber had
targeted the hospital.

Hangu is located near Kohat, where a suicide bomber
struck a crowded bus terminal on Wednesday, killing 19 people
and injuring over 30 others.

Sources said the minority Shia community was also the
target of Wednesday?s attack.

No group claimed responsibility for today?s attack.
Hangu district has been declared "very sensitive" by
intelligence agencies for the Islamic holy month of Muharram,
which began on Wednesday.

Authorities have put in place strict security
arrangements across Pakistan as sectarian and militant
violence has occurred during the month in past years.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned today`s
attack in Hangu, describing it as a "brutal and inhuman act of
militants".

He reiterated his government`s resolve to fight the
menace of terrorism and militancy till its eradication.

PTI