Updates: death toll in Rawalpindi blast mounted to 30- Dawn
RAWALPINDI: An explosion occurred on Rawalpindi’s busy Mall Road on Monday. At least 30 people were killed, while more than 45 were reportedly injured.
According to reports, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the vicinity of the busy Mall Road, in the high-security area of Rawalpindi Cantt. Major hotels, including the Pearl Continental, as well as other important government and army installations are located in the area where the blast occurred.
Monday’s explosion left bodies on the ground outside the bank and in a nearby hotel parking lot, witness Zahid Dara said. The stricken area also lies close to the army’s main headquarters.
‘I was nearby and rushed toward the parking area,’ Dara told a private television channel. ‘There were many people lying on the ground with bleeding wounds, and a motorcycle was on fire with one man under it.’
The attacker rode a motorbike to the scene, and the 30 people dead included military personnel, Rawalpindi police chief Rao Iqbal said. Some 45 others were wounded, he said.
‘The bodies were lying all over,’ said Ali Babar, a rescue official who was doing a refresher course at a nearby college and rushed to the scene to help. ‘This is a terrible thing. It is happening again and again.’
The intensity of the blast left numerous buildings in the area with shattered windows. Vehicles parked in the area were also damaged.
Rescue work was underway and the injured were being shifted to hospitals.
The government declared an emergency in hospitals across the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Security forces also cordoned off the area, while military personnel also arrived at the site of the blast.
The attack comes amidst a deadly wave of terrorist attacks which have killed over 190 in the last month. —DawnNews