| GEO Pakistan|
| Foreigner among 5 perish in UN office suicide blast|
| Updated at: 1530 PST, Monday, October 05, 2009|
ISLAMABAD: Five people including two women and a foreigner were killed and four injured in a bomb blast at UN’s World Food Programme office, said Senior Superintendent Police, Tahir Alam Khan, here at WFP office while talking to journalists.
The SSP said the dead included Mrs. Gul Mukhtar, who was a receptionist, Mrs. Farzana Barkat, an Assistant at WFP and a foreigner Boton Ali, an Iraqi national.
He said the security arrangements were satisfactory at WFP office but said, “It was a well planned blast”. He added that the nature of blast still could not be confirmed. Tahir Alam said the bomb blast occurred at the office near reception at 12noon.
“We are getting the list of employees and visitors to investigate everything properly and relief activities are underway,” he said.
The SSP said that as many as 100 employees work in the office, adding that all died and injured persons were shifted to hospital.
To a question whether it was a parcel bomb, he said, “We are still in process of investigation and every thing would be checked properly.”
Interior minister Rehman Malik also confirmed four Pakistanis and one Iraqi national were killed Monday in a suicide blast inside a United Nations office in the heart of the capital Islamabad.
"According to the latest reports, five people have been martyred -- one of them is an Iraqi national. Four people have been injured, all of them are Pakistanis," Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters.
Initially, police had already confirmed that two Pakistani women and one Iraqi man, all staff members of the World Food Programme, had died in the blast.
Interior Minister also constituted a joint investigation team, headed by DIG police, for determination of responsible culprits who carried out blasts.
The blast raises questions as to how the bomber managed to evade tight security at the heavily fortified office of the World Food Program. It could also hamper the work of WFP and other aid agencies assisting Pakistanis displaced by army offensives against al-Qaida and the Taliban in their strongholds close to the Afghan border.
The blast Monday shattered windows in the lobby of the compound in an up market residential area of Islamabad and left victims lying on the ground in pools of blood, witnesses said.
“There was a huge bang and something hit me. I fell on the floor bleeding,'' said Adam Motiwala, an information officer at the U.N. agency who was hospitalized with injuries to his head, leg and ribs.
Police official Bin Yamin said the attacker, who was between 22 and 26 years old, detonated his explosives in the lobby, killing three people, including an Iraqi working for the WFP. The two other dead were Pakistani women. Several others were injured, two of them critically, the WFP said in a statement.
“This is a terrible tragedy for WFP, and for the whole humanitarian community in Pakistan,'' said WFP Deputy Executive Director, Amir Abdulla, speaking from the agency's headquarters in Rome.