Suicide bomber narrowly misses Pakistani Minister

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pakistani Federal Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao narrowly escaped a suicide bomb attack today. Sherpao was speaking at a rally in his home village in Charsadda District when the suicide bomber struck, killing 25 people and injuring dozens more at last count.

NWFP Inspector General of Police Sharif Virk said five policemen were among the 25 dead.

According to the Daily Times: “Sherpao was going towards his vehicle after finishing his speech and people also rushed towards him for hand-shakes and during this moment I heard a big bang,” said Ayub, who was injured in the blast, from his hospital bed. “It was a big explosion sending a thick cloud of dust to the air,” Wajid Khan, another witness, told Daily Times by phone from Charsadda.

Sherpao in a statement afterwards issued a statement condemning the attack calling it a "targeted kill".

According to news reports, intelligence services had only recently beefed up security on the Interior Minister due to intelligence reports about an imminent attack.