A bomb blast has just been reported in Islamabad near the popular Marriott hotel. This hotel was a favored destination for foreigners heading for assignments in Pakistan. Marriott hotel has been the target of previous attacks as well but militants had not been able to breach the security. But now they have been successful. It was reported that the blast for so powerful that a portion of hotel felt the blast and buckled under.
A car bomb exploded outside the Marriott in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Saturday, killing at least 40 people and starting a fire which swept through the hotel.
The explosion happened hours after new President Asif Ali Zardari, widower of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, made his first address to a joint sitting of parliament.
The new government has a tough fight on its hands. Many are also speculating if these blasts are in response to the recent multiple street bombings in India which many suspect to be the handiwork of Pakistan’s strong and interferring secret agency ISI.
According to Time magazine, among the dead were security personnel and hotel staff, who were reported to have tried to stop the truck. Also, three Americans and a Danish diplomat were also killed.
Pakistan has always been a maximum risk transfer for American government officials as well.
The death toll is expected to rise, with the severely wounded including 10 foreigners from Germany, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Afghanistan. The landmark hotel is favored by foreign businessmen and government officials. Foreigners have been attacked twice before in Islamabad this year, when a small bomb killed one woman at an Italian restaurant, and al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for a subsequent attack on the Danish embassy.