An explosion caused by a suicide bomber in the lobby of the World Food Program office in Islamabad killed five people including four Pakistani and one Iraqi national working for WFP. The suicide bomber has detonated about eight kilograms of explosives. The attack took place at 12:15 local time. A number of injured, some of whom are in a critical condition are being treated in hospital.
Around 80 people work at the heavily fortified United Nations facility, which was equipped with video surveillance cameras, motion detectors and explosives detection devices. The street was barricaded at both ends and vehicles and visitors were allowed entry only after a thorough security check. Despite of all security measure the suicide bomber still manages not only to enter the office but detonate him leaving a huge question mark over the efficiency of interior ministry and intelligence agencies.
WFP is providing vital food assistance to as many as 10 million people across Pakistan, including emergency relief to as many as 2 million Pakistani civilians who were displaced by conflict in the Swat Valley region earlier this year. WFP also supports school meal programmes and targets food assistance at vulnerable groups of people across the country.
Those who died in the attack have been named as:
• Mr. Mohamed Wahab (Pakistani) Finance Assistant
• Mr. Botan Ahmed Ali Al-Hayawi (Iraqi) IT & Communication Officer
• Mr. Abid Rehman (Pakistani) Senior Finance Assistant
• Ms. Gulrukh Tahir (Pakistani) Receptionist
• Ms. Farzana Barkat (Pakistani) Office Assistant
The United Nations has temporarily closed its offices in Pakistan following the attack. UN spokesman Ishrat Rizvi said no specific threat had been received and the move was a precaution following Monday’s attack that killed three people.
Deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of those dedicated WFP staff members who were killed or injured in this terrible attack. They were the humanitarian heroes undoubtedly and will always remain in our hearts.