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Bomb By Hotel Kills 4, Hurts 15 In Pakistan

A bomb ripped through a hotel near a crowded bus depot in northern Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least four people and wounding 15 others.

Police and rescue workers feared more people may be trapped inside the debris. The blast left a crater about 9 feet wide.

“I heard a big explosion and saw a mushroom cloud of dust rising up from the area,” witness Nazir Ahmed said. “I heard screams from the building. I ran back to try and help.”

He said he found two bodies in a taxi destroyed by the blast.

Police said the bomb was planted in an alley between the Farooq Hotel and a barber shop in Faizabad, a busy suburb of the northern city of Rawalpindi, about 6 miles east of Islamabad, the capital.

The bomb gutted the hotel, where many bus passengers rest before or after their journeys.

Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto condemned the attack in a brief statement carried by state-run media.

“This is a dastardly act and we are resolved to find the culprits,” she was quoted as saying by the official Associated Press of Pakistan.

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