| GEO Pakistan|
| Marriot blast: 4 foreigners among 53 dead|
| Updated at: 1837 PST, Sunday, September 21, 2008|
ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister for Interior Rehman Malik Sunday confirmed that 53 people were killed including 4 foreigners while 286 others sustained injuries in the Islamabad bomb blast.
Briefing the media here, Rehman Malik said 600 kilogrammes of TNT and RDX explosives were used in the attack, which he termed as the largest blast in Pakistan, but denied that there was a security lapse. Aluminum powder was used to trigger fire after the blast.
He said the four foreigners who died in the incident included an ambassador of Czech Republic, a woman from Vietnam and two US citizens.
Eleven foreigners were wounded including 4 US citizens, 4 Saudis and one each from Lebanon, Britain and Afghanistan.
He said the attack was a well-planned action to sabotage the economy and the country's progress.
It has been decided to step up the security in the capital city, he told the reporters and urged the media not to present the terrorists, who are responsible for killing innocent people, as heroes.
The Interior Advisor said the US has offered assistance in the investigation of the Marriot Hotel bomb blast.
“The incidents of terrorist acts in the country have links with FATA,’ he informed, adding that a number of suicide bombers had been arrested who will soon be presented before the media.
He said the government will not hold talks with the militants.
“We succeeded in establishing peace in those parts of FATA where we carried out operation…. Mangal Bagh and Taliban have fled from the area”.
He said the government had received the threat of attack and that is why strict security measures were adopted at the Parliament House where the President delivered his address.
“It was a well-planned explosion and the suicide bomber’s target of attack was Marriot Hotel,” Rehman Malik said.
Bodies of 45 persons who died in the blast have been handed over to the heirs while 6 bodies are still in hospital. 106 wounded are also present in the hospital.