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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 March 2008, 18:34 GMT
Pakistan restaurant hit by blast
Pakistani guards carry out an injured foreigner after a bomb blast in Islamabad, 15 March 2008
Following the blast, bystanders and guards rushed to help the injured

A bomb blast at a restaurant in Islamabad has killed a Turkish woman and injured at least 10 other people, according to security officials.

The bomb exploded at the Luna Caprese Italian restaurant in the centre of the Pakistani capital.

It is the first attack that has apparently targeted foreigners in Islamabad since 2002, analysts say.

Two foreign diplomats, one from the US and one from the UK, were among the injured, their governments said.

Those injured also include nationals from Japan, Canada and Turkey, officials say. Five are US nationals, according to police.

'Deafening'

Witnesses said Saturday evening's explosion occurred in a garden at the back of the restaurant, leaving a crater in the ground and blowing out the windows.

Part of the back wall of the restaurant also collapsed.

"It was deafening," Tariq Mahmood, a waiter at the restaurant, told Reuters news agency.

"We pulled out at least eight people from the wreckage. Most of them were foreigners," he said.

Police evacuated the restaurant and closed off the building following the explosion.

Islamabad and nearby Rawalpindi have been the scene of several recent attacks on government and military personnel.

They have been blamed on pro-Taleban militants fighting the Pakistani army in the country's tribal regions near the border with Afghanistan.

Luna Caprese is located in a busy shopping area, and is one of the few restaurants that serve alcohol in Islamabad.

There have been concerns raised recently by security officials over the lack of protection of such venues, the BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan reports from Pakistan.

Foreigners, especially those from Western countries, were advised last year to stay away from public places and popular restaurants, he says.





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