Seven people have been killed and at least 25 others wounded in an explosion in Pakistan. It happened at the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar. Police described the blast as ‘very powerful’ – witnesses said it was both a bomb and gun assault, and part of the hotel is said to have collapsed.
Pakistan’s recent military offensive against the Taliban in the northern Swat Valley has prompted warnings of revenge attacks. Last week 40 people died during Friday Prayers when a mosque was targetted by bombers near the scene of the fighting. Pakistan has come under extreme US pressure to stamp out the Taliban, whose influence had advanced to within 100 kms of the capital Islamabad. Two thousand people have died in the past two years in Pakistan, in attacks blamed on the Taliban or its allies al-Qaeda.