Pakistan Bomb Toll Climbs to 53, Al-Qaeda Accused

Nearly 300 wounded in Marriott blast
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 21, 2008 7:17 AM CDT
Family members visit a local hospital to identify bomb blast victims in Islamabad, Pakistan.   (AP Photo/B.K.Bangash)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Pakistani intelligence authorities have blamed al-Qaeda for a massive bomb attack that has so far claimed 53 lives, Reuters reports. The truck bomb slammed into an Islamabad Marriott yesterday, turning the busy hotel into an inferno of flame. The Czech ambassador to Pakistan, and an American and German national were among those killed. Nearly 300 people were wounded. "The sophistication of the blast shows it's the work of al-Qaeda," said an official.

New President Asif Ali Zardari called the attack part of a "cancer," and vowed: "We will not be afraid of these cowards."