Blast strikes Islamabad rally

Many dead in explosion at a rally in support of Pakistan's suspended chief justice.

    Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has gained popular support while touring the country [AFP, File] 

    'Suicide attack'

    Brigadier Javed Cheema, an interior ministry spokesman, said: "There are at least 10 dead and 35 injured in the blast." 

    Aftab Sherpao, Pakistan's interior minister, said: "It appears to be a suicide attack, but we cannot say for sure."

    The worst of the damage was around the entrance to a marquee, which had been hired by the Islamabad District Bar Association for the speech by Chaudhry.

    Dozens of shoes lay at the scene amid piles of shattered glass and the mangled remains of chairs and a motorcycle.

    Sohail Rahman, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Islamabad, said: "It didn't look like it was a car bomb."

    Latest attack

    The blast follows a string of suicide attacks in northwest Pakistan which have killed more than 70 people, apparently in retaliation for the government's deadly storming of the Red Mosque in Islamabad.

    It also came days before the supreme court is expected to decide whether to allow or overturn the March 9 suspension of Chaudhry by Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president.

    Chaudhry's defenders say he was ousted because he may have stood in the way of Musharraf's bid to get re-elected by the outgoing parliament this year as president while also staying on as army chief, in defiance of the constitution.
      
    Chaudhry has denied the charges and challenged his suspension.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.