Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pakistan:Major Attack on 5 Star Hotel

Ever since the so called Sharia law for peace deal in Swat, violence has been raging in Pakistan. Now a 5 star hotel there has been hit by an Islamic terrorist attack.

Bomb at luxury hotel in Pakistan kills at least 5

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Peshawar, then set of a huge blast that killed at least five people and wounded dozens more Tuesday in the latest of a string of suicide attacks in Pakistani cities, officials said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in the largest city in Pakistan's restive northwest, but it fit with Taliban threats to stage a campaign of assaults in retaliation for a military campaign against militants in the Swat Valley region.

Local television networks showed a scene of pandemonium outside the hotel, with armed police rushing around and Pakistani men standing by looking stunned. One man held a bloodied rag to his head.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene said he saw several foreigners being walked out of the hotel with injuries.

Police official Liaqat Ali said an unknown number of gunmen ran into the Pearl Continental Hotel in downtown Peshawar on Tuesday night just before "a big bomb went off." He said it was a suicide attack.

Sahibzada Anis, a top government official in Peshawar, said at least five people were killed and 25 wounded.

The Pearl Continental, affectionately called the "PC" by Pakistanis, is relatively well-guarded and set far back from the main road and overlooking a golf course and a historic fort. It is located just over a mile (1.5 kilometers) from the city's airport.

Parking in front of the structure is heavily restricted, and to get to the front doors of the building, a car has to undergo security checks and travel around concrete and metal barriers.

The hotel is a favorite place for foreigners and elite Pakistanis to stay and socialize, making it a high-profile target for militants.

Last year, a massive bombing at Islamabad's Marriott Hotel killed more than 50 people and wounded dozens, rattling the nation.

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