Pakistan Hotel Bombing Kills at Least 5

No responsibility claimed; attack matches Taliban threats
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 9, 2009 11:15 AM CDT
In this 2004 file photo, a police officer stands guard in front of the Pearl Continental Hotel.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Peshawar, then set off a huge blast that killed at least five people and wounded dozens more today in the latest of a string of suicide attacks in Pakistani cities, officials said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but it fit with Taliban threats to stage a campaign of assaults in retaliation for a military campaign against militants in the Swat Valley region.

Local TV networks showed a scene of pandemonium outside the Pearl Continental Hotel, with armed police rushing around and Pakistani men standing by looking stunned. One man held a bloodied rag to his head. An AP reporter said he saw several foreigners being walked out of the hotel with injuries. The hotel is a favorite for foreigners and elite Pakistanis to stay and socialize, making it a high-profile target for militants.