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17 killed in suicide blast at Pakistan MP's house
October 06, 2008 19:00 IST
In a sudden upsurge in militant attacks, at least 17 people were killed on Monday and 60 injured as a suspected suicide bomber struck at the home of a prominent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz parliamentarian in Pakistan's Punjab province.
The bomber blew himself up at the residence of PML-N leader Rasheed Akbar Nawani, a prominent politician of Bhakkar district and a member of the National Assembly, almost destroying his home and shaking the entire area sending his panicked neighbours and shopkeepers scurrying for safety.
Nawani was injured in the attack and rushed to a hospital, where channels said his condition was serious.
Over 200 people had gathered at Nawani's home to exchange Eid greetings at the time of the attack. Though special security arrangements were made at the lawmaker's residence, the bomber managed to sneak inside and detonate the explosives, police officials said.
Nawani is a Shia and reports suggested that the attack might have been carried out by rival sectarian groups.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which was condemned by President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani [Images] and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif.
Nawani's residence was sealed off by policemen and investigators scoured the site of the blast for clues. Police officials said they had found parts of the body of the suicide bomber and these would be sent for DNA tests to establish his identity.
Media reports said that the lawmaker was embracing people and wishing them Eid greetings when the blast occurred.