A police officer was killed Monday in a suicide bombing at the gate of a police station in Islamabad, authorities said.
The explosion occurred on Pakistan Day, a national holiday. The bomber apparently walked up to the police station and blew himself up at its gate. The station houses a special intelligence-gathering branch of Islamabad police. Two people — the suicide bomber and a police officer — were killed, police told CNN. Pakistan’s GEO-TV reported three people were dead and 10 wounded in the blast. The blast blew the doors off the police branch and damaged a mosque adjacent to the building, according the network. “Parts of the bodies, the human bodies, are spread around the area,” GEO-TV’s Hamid Mir told CNN. The explosion was heard at CNN’s offices, 2 or 3 miles away. Members of the police branch housed in the building help protect government officials such as the prime minister, CNN’s Reza Sayah said, and with the explosion, someone is “trying to send another message to the federal government here in Islamabad.”
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“(The blast) underscores the acute security situation this government is facing,” he said. If the blast was a suicide bombing, it would be the second in the area within a week, Mir said. On March 16, a suicide attack targeted a bus station near Islamabad. The office targeted Monday is in a crowded area, said Mir, who added: “This intelligence office is not secret. It’s a very well-known intelligence office.” However, the area was not in a high-security zone, he said. Asked about the Pakistanis’ attitude toward these repeated attacks, Mir said public opinion in Pakistan was divided. “Everybody’s against the terrorism, but they think the Americans also need to change their policies. They are in trouble after 9/11. America is secure, but the people in Pakistan are not secure.”