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World Food Programme closes Pakistan offices -

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SHANE MCLEOD: The World Food Programme will close its offices in Pakistan after its main base in
Islamabad was attacked by a suicide bomber.

Five people were killed and many more were injured in an attack that came a day ahead of the eighth
anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.

It also came immediately after the new leader of the Pakistani Taliban vowed fresh assaults on
America and its allies.

This morning, the US Defence Secretary is warning that the Taliban now has the momentum in
Afghanistan because coalition forces can't put enough troops into the country.

Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: The blast occurred in the same upmarket Islamabad neighbourhood where President
Zardari has a private residence.

Security camera footage shows the alleged bomber walking through a front door carrying a long
cylindrical object, possibly a detonator, in one hand.

Dressed as a security officer, the suicide bomber talked his way into a UN Food Aid office by
saying he needed to use the bathroom.

Once inside he set off an explosion which killed 5 people and injured many more. One of those
killed was an Iraqi, the rest were from Pakistan.

Police say the bomber had at least eight kilograms of explosives strapped to his body.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

REHMAN MALIK (translated): According to my initial investigation, the suicide bomber was wearing a
Frontier Constabulary uniform. He asked the security official for permission to enter as he wanted
to use the washroom.

The security personnel allowed him and that's how he entered. We are investigating those security
officials who were present and on duty and who allowed him inside.

ALISON CALDWELL: As yet no one has claimed responsibility for the attack but the Pakistani
Government was quick to blame the Taliban.

Rehman Malik says, like a wounded snake, the Taliban are taking revenge for recent offensives by
government forces in the Swat Valley and northern and southern Waziristan.

The attack could also be revenge for the death of the former Taliban leader who was killed by a US
drone attack.

The UN's World Food Programme has temporarily closed its offices in Pakistan as a result of the
attack, meaning its work delivering food aid will be suspended for the time being.

Communications director Nancy Roman.

NANCY ROMAN: It's obviously a terrible tragedy not only for the families of the deceased but for
the entire humanitarian community and for the hungry everywhere.

ALISON CALDWELL: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the bombing, calling it a heinous
crime.

BAN KI-MOON: I condemn in the strongest terms the attack at the office of the World Food Programme
in Islamabad, Pakistan. Such an attack is unjustifiable. This is a terrible tragedy for the United
Nations and for the whole humanitarian community in Pakistan.

ALISON CALDWELL: Less than a week ago the Pakistani and US governments believed the new leader of
the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, had been killed by a rival.

But yesterday Mehsud released a video showing he was alive and vowing to strike back at Pakistan
and the US.

HAKIMULLAH MEHSUD (translated): Right from the beginning we want to make this clear, that America
has illegally captured Afghanistan and this is our top priority to finish this and remove America
from the soil of Afghanistan and get rid of these people from the Afghan nation.

We were against the Americans and NATO forces right from the beginning but our army has left us
with no choice. In truth, we don't want to fight against the Pakistan army. Our aim is to remove
the Americans from this region and to fight with the American troops.

ALISON CALDWELL: Flanked by other Taliban commanders in a show of unity, Mehsud made his aims
clear.

HAKIMULLAH MEHSUD (translated): My policy is very clear and history will prove this. The first
thing is that we should bring humility to the Pakistani nation and rid it of slavery and bring it
to humanity. Within Pakistan we would finish this system and bring the Islamic system and also give
justice to Muslims. This is our aim.

ALISON CALDWELL: The suicide bombing comes on the eve of the eighth anniversary of the war in
Afghanistan.

Deakin University's senior lecturer in international relations, Dr Scott Burchill.

SCOTT BURCHILL: We're coming up to tomorrow, the eighth anniversary of the Afghanistan war, where
the United States is considering its position as a result of the fairly corrupt and fraudulently
held presidential election in August.

So, lots of activity and lots of concern about what to do about Pakistan in particular. Many people
think that if you want, you know, the Afghan policy has to be framed around what we're concerned
about in Pakistan and the Taliban in Afghanistan are not going away. The Taliban are being taken on
in Pakistan by the Pakistani military, but they still hold significant influence in large swathes
of the provinces I think in the north-west of the country.

SHANE MCLEOD: That's Dr Scott Burchill from Deakin University.