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Pakistan Suicide Attack Kills 5, Including US Diplomat


Pakistani officials say a suicide car bomb attack near the U.S. consulate in the southern port city of Karachi has killed at least five people, including an American diplomat.

Officials say the attacker rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a car carrying the diplomat, blowing it into the air and over a tall wall. The diplomat's driver was also killed in the blast Thursday that occurred about 20 meters from the U.S. consulate.

At least 46 people were wounded in the attack, including a Moroccan child.

President Bush, who is in neighboring India on a three-day visit, condemned the blast and said terrorists and killers will not prevent him from visiting Pakistan later this week.

He expressed deepest condolences to the victims' families. In a written statement, the Pakistani government sharply condemned the attack and expressed deep sadness over the loss of life.

Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, is more than 15,00 kilometers from the capital, where Mr. Bush will meet President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday.

Initial reports had said there were two bombs, but police in Karachi concluded that the secondary explosion came from the fuel tank of a car set afire by the original blast. The attack destroyed at least 10 cars.

The consulate has been the target of several attacks by militants in recent years, including a bombing in 2002 that killed 14 people.

Pakistani officials say President Musharraf plans to ask Mr. Bush to support international safeguards that would protect Muslims from any future insults to their faith, such as those caused by cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist.

Opposition groups in Pakistan are planning nationwide rallies on Friday over the issue.

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