Bathroom break a ploy for Pakistan suicide attack
By CHRIS BRUMMITT (AP)
ISLAMABAD — A suicide bomber who killed five staffers at the U.N. food agency's headquarters in Pakistan on Monday was dressed as a security officer and allowed to enter the heavily guarded building after he asked to use the bathroom.
The United Nations announced it was temporarily closing all its offices in Pakistan after the noontime bombing, which blew out windows and left victims lying in pools of blood in the lobby of the three-story World Food Program compound.
"This is a heinous crime committed against those who have been working tirelessly to assist the poor and vulnerable on the front lines of hunger and other human suffering in Pakistan," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in Geneva.
Despite the office closures, the U.N. said its Pakistani partner organizations would continue distributing food, medicine and other humanitarian assistance. The world body said it would reassess the situation over the next several days.
Pakistani authorities launched an investigation into the major security lapse, saying they would question guards who failed to stop the bomber from carrying out the first suicide attack in Islamabad in four months.
The attack came a day after the new Pakistani Taliban leader met reporters close to the Afghan border, vowing more attacks in response to U.S. missile strikes on militant targets in Pakistan. Ending speculation he had been killed, Hakimullah Mehsud denied government claims the militants were in disarray and said his fighters would repel any army offensive on their stronghold in South Waziristan.
Authorities blamed Islamic militants for Monday's bombing but did not single out the Taliban.
It was unclear whether militants targeted the World Food Program because of its work in Pakistan or were simply looking to kill foreigners or those working with them. The dead were four Pakistanis and an Iraqi.
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Islamabad attack - Dawn