A suicide bomb attack has killed 25 people at Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan, adding to the sense of instability in the country. No claim has been made for the attack which injured dozens of others. Peshawar, close to the border with Afghanistan, has suffered an overspill of violence from tribal border regions, with several other deadly bomb attacks striking the city in recent months.
The latest blast took place at a hotel in the centre of the city, close to the centuries-old Mahabat Khan mosque. There were many women and children among the dead. Many of the injured were said to be in a serious condition. Ambulances and handcarts were used to carry them to hospital.
Meanwhile, in Islamabad, President Pervez Musharraf warned delegates to an Islamic conference that the Islamic world was on a downward slide. Musharaf, a US ally, suggested that a Muslim peacekeeping force could be deployed to help end violence in Iraq.
Musharraf’s decision to suspend a supreme court judge, Iftikhar Chaudhry, has outraged the judiciary and opposition and triggered violent protests in the country’s largest city, Karachi.