RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – A suicide bomber killed 30 people outside a bank near Pakistan’s capital Monday, as the U.N. said spreading violence had forced it to pull out some expatriate staff and suspend long-term development work in areas along the Afghan border.
Islamist insurgents have carried out numerous attacks in Pakistan in recent weeks, killing some 250 people in retaliation for an army offensive in the Pakistani Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan, also along the frontier shared with neighboring Afghanistan.
Several U.N. personnel have been among those killed, and the organization’s decision to suspend development work could imperil Western goals of reducing the allure of extremism by improving Pakistan’s economy.
One panicked father who was near the bank when the explosion occurred said he was unable to find his son in the aftermath of the attack.
“I parked my car in the bank car park, and my child was sitting inside,” Mohammad Saleem told AP Television News. “Now they’re not giving me permission to go and look, and I don’t know where my child is.”