Skip to main content

In what can only be seen as further strain of US-Pakistan diplomatic ties, a bomb has ripped through the Marriott hotel in Islamabad. ABC News is reporting:

The Marriott is a favorite place for foreigners to stay and socialize in Islamabad, despite repeated militant attacks. A security guard at the scene, Mohammad Nasir, and several witnesses said a large truck had driven toward the gate before exploding.

updated x3
Bloomberg News is now reporting that 3 Americans are confirmed dead. I can only infer this number could rise.

A Danish diplomat and three U.S. citizens were among the dead, Dawn News television reported, without saying where it got the information.

updated x4

Carlotta Gall at the NY Times is now reporting a  possibly explosive development:

A huge truck bomb exploded at the gateway of the five-star Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Saturday evening, just a few hundred yards from the prime minister’s house, where all the leaders of government were dining after the president’s address to Parliament.
[emphasis mine]

She also includes earlier attacks on the five star Marriott going back to 2004:

The Marriott, a favorite place for foreigners to stay and gather, has been attacked by militants at least twice in the past, including a suicide attack in January 2007 that killed a policeman.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This story needs to stay on top of the news cycle this weekend. Looks like the early footage is showing massive damage.

This story needs to be framed as Obama's strentgh of judgement on foreign policy. He has been calling for more attention to that region for 18 months.

There have been escalating tensions for the past few weeks now. From Time magazine's latest isssue:

"Pakistan vs. US Raids: How Bad a Rift?"

Pakistan's military and the U.S. forces operating across the country's mountainous border with Afghanistan have become locked into a confusing and potentially dangerous game of brinkmanship over how to fight the al-Qaeda and Taliban militants sheltering on Pakistani soil. U.S. military strikes on Pakistani soil are provoking increasingly strident warnings from Pakistan's military and political leadership, and they are continuing despite Washington's reassurances about respecting Pakistani sovereignty. Still, many believe the Pakistanis are engaged in ritual denunciation of U.S. actions primarily for domestic political consumption.

This follows reports that Pakistan soldiers have been ordered to fire upon any US forces entering the tribal
region of South Waziristan last week. From the AP's article:

"Pakistan Troops Ordered to Open Fire on US"

Pakistan's army said Tuesday that its forces have orders to open fire if U.S. troops launch another raid across the Afghan border, raising the stakes in a dispute over how to tackle militant havens in Pakistan's unruly border zone.

The AP is reporting that the death toll will rise, as the damage is extensive. Pat Buchanan was on MCNBC and says reports form the scene say this could be an "Oklahoma City like bombing." That's not meant to report a body count, but the strength of what happened today.

updated
Let us all be clear. Obama's position of unilaterally attacking Al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan's border is something that the Bush administration has already been implementing.

From a PBS Frontline report in 2004:

In June 2004, Mohammed was killed by a Hellfire missile fired from an unmanned U.S. Predator airplane. Mohammed was hailed as a martyr and his grave has become a shrine. The Pakistan government still tries to keep secret American involvement in his death.

So don't let this phony argument of Obama's position being reckless. We need to flush out those within Pakistan's intelligence community and the ISI.

Joe Biden needs to be all over this on the Sunday talk shows.

updated x2

This is a massive crater, MSNBC is reporting a 30 foot diamter. Meticulous planning, assistance from within security or police forces almost assuredly.
 title=

From the out side of the hotel. This looks like flames have fully engulfed the hotel.
 title=

Helping the wounded.
 title=

Originally posted to HankNYNY on Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 08:40 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site