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Bomber Kills 37 On Eve Of Pakistan Elections

From a greatly cheered Associated Press:

[AP caption:] A Pakistani police office shows confiscated explosives allegedly to be used during elections, at a local police station in Peshawar, Pakistan on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008.

Pakistan election office blast kills 37

By MUNIR AHMAD, Associated Press Writer

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – A suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into an independent parliament candidate’s election office in northwest Pakistan Saturday, killing 37 people and wounding more than 90 days before a crucial vote, government officials said.

Bodies were seen lying in pools of blood following the blast in Parachinar, a volatile tribal area bordering Afghanistan, one witness said.

The candidate targeted, Syed Riaz Hussain, was unharmed. Hussain is backed by the opposition Pakistan People’s Party formerly led by the slain Benazir Bhutto. The party is challenging President Pervez Musharraf in parliamentary elections on Monday.

Most of the victims appeared to be members of the opposition PPP. They had gathered at the candidate’s home following a campaign rally, said Mushtaq Hussain, an administrative official in the area.

He said a suicide bomber apparently “rammed his explosive-laden car into the election office.”

Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said 37 people were killed and more than 90 wounded when a suicide bomber drove into a crowd as they were preparing to eat.

Asked who could be behind the bombing, he said those “who want to derail the election process.”

The injured poured into a nearby hospital, many in critical condition with severe burn wounds, said Raza Hussain, one of the doctors.

“Several of our party members are lying in a pool of blood,” said Zafar Ali, a party supporter at the scene…

Recent opinion polls show the opposition poised for a landslide victory amid disenchantment Musharraf’s rule [sic]…

The government has deployed 81,000 soldiers to back up 392,000 police assigned to protect voters, said military spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas…

Although Musharraf is not up for re-election, he could face impeachment if the opposition wins a two-thirds majority in the legislature.

Opposition politicians fear the results will be manipulated in hopes of assuring the ruling party enough seats to block any impeachment…

On Friday, Sen. Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the United States should consider cutting off military aid to Pakistan if the elections are rigged. 

Yes, let’s cut off aid to Pakistan, Joe. That will solve everything.

Besides, isn’t this the way most liberal Democrats secretly wish our elections could be run?

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, February 16th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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