ISLAMABAD -- More than 10 people have been killed in an apparent suicide bomb attack on police near a site where Islamists had been marking the anniversary of an army commando raid on a mosque in Pakistan's capital.
The blast happened several hundred meters from the Red Mosque, after a tightly guarded meeting of Islamists at the mosque had ended.
Worshippers could be seen streaming out of the mosque after the explosion. Sirens were heard across the city as ambulances raced toward the scene on what had been a quiet evening.
"Police were going back to their stations when it happened," said senior police official Kamran Adil.
"We picked up more than 10 bodies, there are also many wounded, most of them police. The primary target was our men," he said.
Pakistan's Interior Ministry announced soon after the explosion that a suicide attacker was responsible.
Earlier on July 6, several thousand Islamists vowed support for jihad, or Muslim holy war, as they gathered at the mosque to mark the first anniversary of an army raid on the complex.
More than 100 people were killed when commandos stormed the Red Mosque complex, which included a madrasah, or Islamic seminary, on July 10, 2008, after a weeklong siege that began when gunmen from the mosque clashed with police outside.
Speakers at the rally to mark the anniversary told a crowd of several thousand, most of them men, that U.S. ally President Pervez Musharraf was to blame for the bloodshed last year.