ISLAMABAD -" A suicide attack targeting the police force here on Sunday at the Melody Chowk killed at least 19 people and left over 40 others injured. However, according to the government officials the death toll was eight and the figure of the injured was put at 26. The blast, described as 'suicide attack' by almost all police officials on the scene, occurred when a young man came out from a nearby street and after reaching close to the police officials blew himself up at 7:45pm near Melody market. On Saturday, the Interior Ministryasked all the four provincial governments to beef up security measures in the wake of terrorist threats from militants. Sources in the Ministry disclosed that they had received information from their leads in the Tribal Areas that the elements facing the military operation were planning disruptive activities in the settled areas of all the four provinces. According to authorities, more bomb attacked are feared. The intensity of Sunday's blast was so high that the sound of the bang could be heard from a long distance and the windowpanes of the nearby houses were broken. Inspector General Police (IGP) Islamabad Asghar Gardezi viewed it as a suicide attack targeting police officials who were on duty to manage the things at the Lal Mosque Shuhda (martyres) Conference near the site of the incident. "However, there was no eyewitness account of the attack," he added. The injured were admitted to Poly Clinic and PIMS where doctors were busy treating the injured. IGP further said that the dead bodies were shifted to the Polly Clinic Hospital and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and the dead body of the suicide bomber might be identified from those dead bodies as only police constables were standing on the scene and no civilian was there. Responding to a question regarding security arrangements for the conference, he said 3,000 security personnel of Punjab Constabulary and Islamabad Police were deputed and things went well throughout the day and after failing to hit the target, the suicide attacker targeted the police officials away from the venue of the conference to regulate the people coming to and going from the venue. "All the roads are blocked and no one was entering the said area where it occurred. So the chance is that the bomber came from the street.The suicide attack had also caused the death of Station House Officer (SHO) Sihala and a Sub Inspector of capital police", IG added. After the blast, Advisor on Interior Rehman Malik, IGP Asghar Gardezi, Additional Deputy Commissioner General Rana Akbar Hayat and heads of the security agencies along with heavy contingent of capital police and ambulances reached the spot and shifted the injured people to hospitals while the forensic experts of security agencies were seen busy collecting clues from the site late night. "The whole event at the mosque went smoothly but then the suicide bomber targeted the security forces," Advisor to the PM on Interior Rehman Malik told reporters at the scene. "We are in a state of war with militants who trying to hit us everywhere," he said. "A young man walked into the police contingent and apparently blew himself up," one of the officials said on condition of anonymity. "The blast happened 15 minutes after the meeting dispersed. A heavy contingent of police was at a main crossing several hundred metres from the mosque and they were targeted in the attack," the official added. Policemen's batons, helmets and riot shields were scattered around the site after the blast. Television footage showed bearded students frantically running towards the scene and ambulances bringing the wounded to hospitals. "We were playing cricket in a nearby park when we heard a deafening blast. There were several policemen on the ground and me and my friends took them to hospital but they were dead," witness Shaqeel Ahmed said. Rehman Malik said that based on witness accounts, the attacker ran into the police. "This a very tragic and highly condemnable," he said. After the blast, a traffic intersection in the area was splattered with blood. Body parts were scattered as far as about 50 yards from the scene, and shattered glass also covered the area, which police cordoned off. Muhammad Amir Siddiq, a spokesman for the Red Mosque, denounced the attack and said he was not aware whether any attendees of the conference were wounded. "This is a very tragic and condemnable incident," Siddiq said. IG Islamabad declared the bomb explosion at Melody Chowk a suicide attack. The bomb disposal squad also confirmed that the explosion was a suicide attack after gathering witnesses from the place of incident, private news channel reported. After the gory incident, emergency was announced in the hospitals of capital. According to hospital officials, 12 dead bodies and 12 injured were brought to PIMS while one dead body and 33 injured were sent to Poly Clinic Hospital. Later on Member National Assembly Dr Tariq Fazal visited the crime scene and met with the IGP Gardezi. Talking to media, he said it had been a routine matter in the country but after the elections when democratic coalition government took over the reins of power, the frequency of such activities had reduced a lot. "We have to find out that who is backing such activities. However, it is sure that international elements are involved in such incidents who use their sources while living in our country. No such terrorist group or any individual has yet claimed the responsibility of the blast", he said. He said unfortunately, we had not given proper attention to our police who was not fully equipped and trained to counter such elements and it was the need of the hour to rebuild the police with all resources. The nearby petrol pump and shops were also closed down and panic gripped the whole vicinity with people rushing out to safety amidst the screams of the injured who were being transported to hospitals in ambulances. People were so fear stricken that most of the shops in Aabpara were also closed down soon after hearing the news of the blast and the people living in G-6 sector locked themselves up in their homes and the whole area gave a deserted look. As the conference was over just moments before the blast, hundreds of participants of the conference, who had gathered in memory of the Lal Masjid martyrs, also fled away but as the parking lot for the participants of the conference was allocated on the Eastern side of the Melody market, they faced difficulties reaching their vehicles. People from all walks of life condemned the blast and termed it an act of the people who did not want to see peace in the country. Some of the people linked it to the ongoing Military operation in Bara and Tribal Areas and demanded of the government to review its policy. However, Barrister Sultan Mahmood saw foreign hand behind the Sunday suicide blast and urged all political parties to join hand to devise a consensus strategy to counter the menace of terrorism to frustrate the designs of Pakistan's enemies who who were up against destroying country's nuclear assets, sabotage Kashmir cause and destabilise the democratically elected government. Meanwhile, all the major political parties condemned the blast and said that government should come down hard on such elements and some of them also demanded inquiry into the incident and the security lapse. APP adds: Chief Commissioner Islamabad, Hamid Ali Khan Sunday said the government has constituted joint investigation team to probe Melody suicide bomb blast. Talking to a private TV channel, he said law enforcement agencies have collected the evidences from the site. He said, according to initial report it looked a suicide attack. The Chief Commissioner said about 12 police personnel were reported among the dead, while 40 others were injured in the incident. APP further reported that Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Sunday evening confirmed 17 dead and 50 injured after a powerful blast rocked Islamabad. The hospital officials informed that identity of two dead was yet to be ascertained while others have been recognized as personnel of Punjab and Islamabad Police. Giving details, the officials said, the dead included Chaudhry Safder SHO Sihala Police Station, Sub-Inspector Zafar Iqbal (Islamabad Police), Constable Aftab (Islamabad Police), Constable Ilyas (Islamabad Police), Babar Shah (PunjabPolice), Qamar Abbas (Punjab Police), Shahid Maqsood (Punjab Police), Nawaz (Punjab Police), Haq Nawaz (Punjab Police), Ghulam Abbas (Punjab Police) while two personnel were yet to be identified. The injured included Tabassam Zahra, 43 (a passers-by), Constable Aslam (Punjab Police), Head Constable Bisharat, Rashid (a passers-by), Constable Ghulam Abbas (Capital Police), Constable Rahat Ali Khan, Waqar and Nisar (passers-by), Constable Aamir, Constable Iqbal, Muhammad Shabbir and an unidentified person. According to BBC, Rehman Malik announced a Rs 5 million reward for identifying the suicide bomber. Interior Secretary Kamal Shah said it is premature to say that the attack was the result of militaryo operation in tribal areas. No organisation has admitted carrying out the attack, but local media reports said the tone of the rally grew more heated after the arrival of banned militant groups suspected of being allied to or inspired by Al-Qaeda, says BBC correspondent. The bombing comes after a period of relative calm, with the country's newly elected government adopting a strategy of political negotiations and development to try and end militancy. Timeline July 14, 2007 Suicide car-bomber kills 24 paramilitary soldiers and wounds 29 in North Waziristan. July 15 16 people, most of them paramilitary soldiers, are killed in suicide-bomb ambush on patrol in Swat.. July 17 Suicide bomber kills 16 people outside court in Islamabad. July 19 Three suicide attacks in a single day in three towns kill at least 52 people. July 27 Suicide bomb attack in a restaurant near Islamabad's Red Mosque kills 13 people. Sept 4 Two suicide bombers kill 25 in Rawalpindi. Sept 11 Suicide bomber kills 16 people in Dera Ismail Khan. Sept 13 15 soldiers killed in suicide bombing in an army canteen near Islamabad. Oct 19 139 people killed in suicide bomb attack on Benazir Bhutto's motorcade. Oct 25 Suicide bomber kills 21 people, including 17 soldiers, in Swat. Nov 24 Twin suicide car bomb attacks kill 15 people in Rawalpindi, on the eve of the return of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from exile in Saudi Arabia. Dec 17 - A suicide bomber kills 10 military recruits in Kohat. Dec 21 - A suicide bomber kills at least 41 people in a mosque in Charsadda. Dec 27 - Benazir Bhutto was killed in a bomb attack after in Rawalpindi. More than 20 others are also killed. Jan 10, 2008 - A suicide bomber walks up to policemen outside the High Court in Lahore and sets off explosives. Nineteen people are killed, 16 policemen and 3 passers-by. Feb 22 - A roadside bomb kills 13 members of a wedding party, including the bride, in Swat. Feb 29 - A suicide attack on a police funeral in Swat kills 40 people. March 2 - At least 40 people are killed when a suicide bomber attacks a traditional tribal meeting in Darra Adam Kheil. March 11 - Two suicide car bombers strike, killing 24 people, most of them in an attack on a government security office in Lahore. March 15 - A bomb attack at an Italian restaurant in Islamabad, a favourite hangout for foreigners, kills a Turkish woman and wounds several others, including four FBI agents. June 2 - A suicide bomber blows up a car outside the Danish Embassy in Islamabad killing at least six people and wounding about 20. July 6 - 19 people are killed in a suicide attack in Islamabad. President, PM condemn blast Our Staff Reporter ISLAMABAD - President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani have strongly condemned the blast here at Melody and asked Advisor on Interior Rehman Malik to immediately conduct an inquiry into the incident. They said such incidents were against the teachings of Islam and didn't serve any purpose. While expressing their heartfelt condolences over the loss of innocent lives, the President and the Prime Minister asked the authorities concerned to provide best medical care to the injured. It may be mentioned that throughout the day the congregation outside Lal Masjid remained peaceful and the blast occurred away from the gathering.