A HUGE car bomb exploded outside the Danish embassy in the Pakistani capital yesterday, killing at least six people and wounding dozens more.
The blast echoed through Islamabad and left a crater more than three feet deep in the road in front of the main gate to the embassy. Glass, fallen masonry and dozens of wrecked vehicles littered the area.
A perimeter wall of the embassy collapsed and its metal gate was blown inward, but the embassy building itself remained standing, though its windows were shattered.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but al-Qaida’s No 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, recently called for attacks on Danish targets in response to the publication of caricatures in Danish newspapers depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
Pakistan’s new government is trying to strike peace deals with militants in its regions bordering Afghanistan, a pursuit eyed warily by the US.
Pakistani officials condemned the blast but indicated they did not want to stop the talks. The government has insisted it is not talking to “terrorists” but rather militants willing to lay down their weapons.
“There is no question of any impact of this incident on the peace process, but of course it badly harmed our image in the world,” said interior ministry chief Rehman Malik.
Officials said at least six people — including two policemen — were killed and 35 people were wounded in the blast. The only foreign national reported hurt was a Brazilian woman working at the embassy. Her injuries were not serious, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said.
It was the second targeting of foreigners in the usually tranquil Pakistani capital in less than three months.
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