At least 11 people have died and 52 have been injured in a suicide attack on a Peshawar hotel in Pakistan.
The Pearl Continental is a five-star hotel used by foreigners, Pakistani officials and businessmen. Eyewitnesses say three gunmen stormed the outer security barrier before setting off a van packed with explosives in the car park. Windows were shattered up to 5 kilometres away by the force of the blast. The hotel had extensive protection including concrete barriers, body searches and metal detectors at the entrance, but security in north-west Pakistan’s major city has been deteriorating in recent months. Many families who can afford to have left or are leaving for Islamabad, and most blame the Taliban and al-Qaeda, currently fighting the army in the nearby Swat valley. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility, but Taliban leaders have promised to attack cities in revenge for the Swat offensive.