Pakistan: Ex-Jamaat-e-Islami chief escapes attack by woman bomber

A woman suicide bomber Monday targeted former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed's motorcade in the restive tribal belt of northwest Pakistan, injuring four persons though he escaped unhurt.

Ahmed's motorcade was on its way to a rally in the Halimzai area of Mohmand Agency when the bomber detonated her suicide vest near a vehicle, officials of the local political administration said.

One of the vehicles in Ahmed's motorcade was destroyed by the blast.

Four of Ahmed's supporters were injured and two of them were in a critical condition, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said.

Ahmed's car had already passed the spot at the time of the blast and he was safe, Hussain said.

Speaking in the provincial assembly, Hussain confirmed that the attack was carried out by a woman. Ahmed later participated in the rally.

The attack occurred less than a kilometre from the venue of the meeting. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation.

President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the attack and expressed satisfaction that Ahmed remained unhurt.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf too condemned the attack and telephoned Ahmed to inquire about the incident.

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