Pakistan Bomb Near Miss for President, PM

Zardari was scheduled to be at reception when Marriott exploded
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2008 7:02 AM CDT
Pakistan's PM Yousaf Raza Gilani talks with reporters as he arrives at a local hospital to meet with the victims of Saturday's massive truck bombing in Islamabad, Pakistan on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008.    (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
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(Newser) – Pakistan's president and prime minister were supposed to be at a reception at the Islamabad hotel where a huge bomb killed at least 60 people and injured 270, reports the Times of London. Asif Ali Zardari and Yousaf Raza Gilani were expected to attend a large dinner at the Marriott, but the location was changed at the last moment. "The whole leadership was saved," said Pakistan's interior minister.

Meanwhile, an aide to leading Pakistani militant Baitullah Mehsud, who has been fingered as a suspect, denied any involvement in the attack and said he shared the nation's grief. Many are blaming either al-Qaeda or the Pakistani Taliban for the blast, a sign of an emboldened insurgency that has scared many outsiders. British Airways, for one, announced today that it is suspending all flights to Pakistan.