Source AP ©

Suicide attacker explodes near Musharraf's army office killing at least five people

Pakistan police report suicide attacker blew himself up at a police checkpoint in the city of Rawalpindi on Tuesday, killing at least five people and injuring several others.

The blast occurred about 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the headquarters of the Pakistan army and the office of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Presidential spokesman Rashid Qureshi said Musharraf was safe inside Army House at the time.

Mohammed Saeed, a city police official, said a lone suicide bomber approached the checkpoint on foot on a main road in the city and blew himself up. Five people were killed, including two police officers.

The injured included women and children who were passing by in a small bus.

There was no claim of responsibility.

However, Pakistan has been rocked by a string of suicide attacks mostly blamed on Islamic militants battling security forces near the Afghan border.

A suicide attack on the homecoming parade of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Oct. 18 in the southern city of Karachi killed more than 140 people.

In Rawalpindi, a garrison city just south of the capital Islamabad, two blasts on Sept. 4 killed 25 people and wounded more than 60, many of them on a Defense Ministry bus.

Last week, Pakistan deployed paramilitary forces to tackle militant supporters of a pro-Taliban cleric in the northwestern district of Swat. Officials say four days of violence in the once-peaceful mountain region has left around 100 people dead, most of them militants.

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