Pakistan’s turmoil spread from the Afghan frontier to the south today, when a suicide bomber hit a convoy carrying Chinese workers, killing 29 Pakistani bystanders and police.
President Gen Pervez Musharraf called for national unity against extremists enraged by the army’s bloody assault on Islamabad’s Red Mosque.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s suspended chief justice pressed a court to overturn the military ruler’s ill-fated decision to suspend him, or risk casting Pakistan further toward political instability.
The attack apparently aimed at a group of Chinese engineers and technicians was one of two suicide bombings today that killed a total of 36 people.
Officials said the convoy was passing through the main bazaar in Hub, a town in Baluchistan province near the port city of Karachi, when a moving car blew up next to a police vehicle. Hub police chief Ghulam Mohammed Thaib said seven police officers and 22 bystanders were killed.
Another 30 people were wounded. Maj Gen Saleem Nawaz, a commander of the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary, considered the outcome fortunate.
“It was laden with very heavy explosives, but due to our spacing and our security measures, Allah has been very kind,” Nawaz said on Dawn News television.