A powerful explosion ripped through the Egyptian Embassy in the Pakistani capital today, killing at least eight people and wounding many more, some seriously, authorities said.
It wasn’t immediately known what caused the explosion, but police at the scene said they were operating on the assumption that it was a bomb.
At least 12 ambulances raced to the embassy, where witnesses reported seeing six bodies pulled from the rubble. Outside, on the sprawling lawns, several employees lay wounded.
The explosion occurred at about 9:30 a.m. (8:30 p.m. PST) when the embassy was in full operation. Sunday is a regular working day in Islamic Pakistan, which celebrates the Muslim holy day on Friday.
“It was a massive explosion,” said Abdul Majid Makhloof, an embassy worker. “There were parts (of the building) flying all over the place.”
Moans and screams from injured workers, some trapped within could be heard outside the compound.
A security officer, who didn’t want to be identified, said rescue workers were pulling bits of a vehicle from the rubble, leading investigators to believe a car bomb may have caused the explosion.
In Paris, radio reports said an “armed Islamic group” in Cairo had claimed responsibility for the explosion. No further information on that claim was available.