Two bombs have exploded in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi killing at least 24 people and wounding dozens more. Both devices went off at about the same time during this morning’s rush hour. The first blast, which could be heard across the city, destroyed a bus carrying Ministry of Defence employees to work. Shortly afterwards, a motorcycle bomb exploded in a market.
As the army’s headquarters is about a kilometre away, the attacks will give the government particular cause for concern. There has been a surge in militant violence since July, when the army stormed the radical Red Mosque in Islamabad and a peace pact broke down with militants in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border.
The violence comes as Pakistan enters a period of political uncertainty with army chief and president, General Pervez Musharraf trying to secure a new term and his opponents vowing to end his rule.