Suicide bomber kills 13 near Pakistan army HQ in Rawalpindi

A rescue worker collects evidence from the site of a suicide blast in Rawalpindi, 20 January 2014 The market is located near the army headquarters in Pakistan's Rawalpindi

A suicide bomber has killed at least 13 people near Pakistan's army HQ in the city of Rawalpindi, the military say.

Those who died included eight military personnel and five civilians, three of them schoolchildren. The blast in a crowded market left 29 others injured.

The attack came a day after 20 soldiers were killed in the north-west when a bomb blast struck an army convoy.

Pakistan's Taliban claimed both attacks, which follow weeks of relative calm since their leader was killed.

Hakimullah Mehsud died in a US drone strike in November and was replaced by Mullah Fazlullah.

Police say a group of soldiers had been passing on foot at the moment of Monday's explosion in Rawalpindi, located just south of the capital, Islamabad.

Rawalpindi Police Chief Akhtar Hayat Lalika told Reuters news agency that the market, 10 minutes away on foot from the army base, was in one of the most secure areas of the city.

A resident was quoted by AFP news agency as saying that windows in nearby buildings were shattered in the blast.

"The intensity of the blast threw me off my chair. I rushed outside and saw smoke everywhere. I saw injured lying and screaming on the ground," shop owner Liaqat Ali said.

Sunday's explosion left at least 24 others injured.

Soldiers and paramilitary forces were planning to leave the town of Bannu, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, for Razmak in North Waziristan, when their convoy was hit by the blast.

The two most recent attacks mark a swift escalation of violence and are among the most serious assaults on the military in recent months.

Correspondents say they will refresh concerns about Pakistan's strategy for dealing with militancy, with the government keen to pursue peace talks.

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool in Islamabad says at present the government strategy to deal with the Pakistan Taliban appears to many to be utterly confused.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Asia stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of


  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news


  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support


  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • CastleRoyal real estate

    No longer reserved for kings and queens, some find living in a castle simply divine

Programmes

  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.