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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bombing Near Musharraf Residence

ReutersPakistani police examining the site of a suicide attack that killed seven near a presidential residence on Tuesday.
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan -- A suicide attacker set off a bomb less than half a kilometer from the military headquarters where President Pervez Musharraf was staying Tuesday, killing seven people, police said.

The blast will likely feed fears for the country's stability, just as it prepares for crucial parliamentary elections and faces a growing threat from Islamic militants.

Police had stopped the bomber at checkpoint in the city of Rawalpindi, just half a kilometer from Army House. Musharraf was safely inside at the time, his spokesman Rashid Qureshi said.

There was no claim of responsibility. Qureshi declined to speculate on who was to blame.

He said it followed a string of bloody suicide attacks, including the bombing of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's homecoming parade. The Oct. 18 blast killed more than 140 people in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi.

Qureshi said extremists were abusing Islam to justify atrocities and that Musharraf, a key ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism, would not be swayed.

"He has said time and again that the only threat facing Pakistan is from extremism and terrorism, and there is no way he's going to change his attitude toward these people," Qureshi said.

Police said three of their officers and four civilians were killed along with the lone assailant. Fourteen policemen and four civilians were wounded, he said.

"When police officers asked him to halt, the attacker panicked. And as the police tried to capture him, he blew himself up," city police chief Saud Aziz said. "Our officers died to protect the citizens of Pakistan."

The attack left the area around the checkpoint strewn with human flesh and torn clothing. The checkpoint guards a road leading to Army House and the residences of several top generals.