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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Army Bus in Pakistan Rocked by Bomb

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Suicide bombers attacked an army bus and a commercial district in a city near the Pakistani capital Tuesday, killing at least 24 people and injuring 66 others, the army and police said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosions, which deepened the sense of crisis in Pakistan amid pre-election political uncertainty. Officials suggested the bombings were the work of Islamic militants, possibly in response to Pakistani military operations near the Afghan border.

The first explosion devastated the bus early Tuesday as it traveled through a high-security area of Rawalpindi, a garrison city just south of Islamabad and the headquarters of the army.

Military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said the vehicle belonged to the defense ministry. He declined to identify the victims, though other officials suggested they included soldiers and intelligence agency staff.

Arif Sultan, a survivor of the bus attack, said the bomb went off when the vehicle was waiting in traffic and filled it with flames. "The roof ... was blown away. Pieces of other people's flesh hit my head and covered my clothes," he said from a city hospital, where he was being treated for a minor head injury.

He declined to identify his employer.

As ambulances transported victims from the bus blast, a second bomb carried on a motorcycle went off in a nearby commercial district, killing several more people, a city police official said. Two military caps were visible inside one of several cars badly damaged in the second explosion.

Arshad said a total of 24 people had died and 66 more were wounded and that initial investigations indicated that the bombings were suicide attacks.