A suspected suicide bomber has attacked a United Nations office in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, killing at least three people and injuring at least six. A foreigner is said to be among those killed in the blast at the World Food Programme offices.
The explosion appeared to have been in the basement of offices, senior police official Tahir Alam told the BBC outside the WFP.
The Associated Press quoted an unnamed female WFP employee as saying: ‘I was on the upper floor when there was the sound of a huge explosion downstairs.
‘I found many of colleagues lying on the floor full of blood. We immediately put the most critically wounded in a vehicle and rushed them to hospital.’
The WFP said three of its staff members had been confirmed dead and several others had been injured – two were in a critical condition.
WFP deputy executive director Amir Abdulla, described the attack as ‘a terrible tragedy for WFP, and for the whole humanitarian community in Pakistan’.
Further detail from the New York Times:
Around 80 people work at the heavily fortified United Nations facility, which was equipped with video surveillance cameras, motion detectors and explosives detection devices. The street was barricaded at both ends and vehicles and visitors were allowed entry only after a thorough security check.
The fact that the suicide bomber managed to pass through the security surprised police officials and workers at the office.
There was speculation that someone from within the office helped the bomber to gain entry. Several private security guards were taken into custody for questioning by Islamabad police officers, according to local news media.
Update: GEO TV is now reporting that the attacker was disguised in Frontier Corps paramilitary uniform, and that this allowed him to get past the building’s security checks. Five are now thought to have died in the attack.