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Deadly Blast Near U.S. Consulate

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by colt45, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. NewsMax Wires
    Frfiday, June 14, 2002
    KARACHI, Pakistan -- At least twelve people were killed and more than 20 others injured Friday morning in what local police said was a suicide bombing attack on the U.S. Consulate in Karachi.
    Taique Jamil, city police chief of Karachi, confirmed the death toll and said that some 22 other people had been injured. Most of the victims were thought to be Pakistanis and no U.S. citizens were among the dead, officials said. Jamil said the explosion was a suicide attack. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

    Police said a vehicle, which resembled an ambulance, rammed a protective wall and police guardhouse near the consulate. The blast knocked the guardhouse about 150 feet into a park and left a 12-foot crater. Communications equipment on the roof of the consulate and dozens of nearby shops were damaged by the explosion.

    The blast occurred just after 11 a.m. and about one hour after a meeting between U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Pakistani leaders in Islamabad.

    Rumsfeld is visiting the subcontinent to defuse tensions between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan and also to review Pakistan's contribution to the U.S.-led war on terror.

    Karachi is Pakistan's largest city and commercial hub but it is also known as the country's violence capital where scores of people are killed every year in ethnic, religious and political violence.

    On May 8, a suicide bomber attacked a Pakistan navy vehicle carrying French experts who were working on a defense project outside Karachi. At least 14 people, including 11 Frenchmen, were killed in the attack.

    At least five people, including a U.S. diplomat's wife and daughter, were killed in March when terrorists hurled grenades inside a church in the capital, Islamabad, during a Sunday service.

    Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was kidnapped in Karachi in January and was later killed by Islamic militants demanding the release of Pakistani prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the United States is holding Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.

    Pakistani officials blame religious extremists opposed to the policies of President Pervez Musharraf for the attacks.

    Musharraf angered militants by dumping Pakistan's Taliban allies after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States and joining the U.S.-led war against terrorism. He also banned five extremist Muslim groups in January, causing a string of terrorist attacks across the country.

    Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

    All rights reserved.