Sun, Jul 25, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Roadside bomb kills one, injures seven in Karachi


A roadside bomb exploded near a vehicle carrying religious students in the southern city of Karachi yesterday, killing one person and injuring seven others, police said.

It was not immediately clear who targeted the pickup truck, which belonged to Jamia Rashidia, one the main Islamic schools in Pakistan, deputy police inspector General Tariq Jamil said.

"Bomb disposal experts, after examining the damaged vehicle, have confirmed that it was a bomb which was probably detonated by remote control," Jamil said.

Jamil identified the dead man as Mohammed Azam, an electrician at the school. The injured were all students and teachers from the seminary.

Police discounted initial accounts that the explosion occurred inside the vehicle.

Senior police investigator Akbar Arrien said it was a remotely controlled bomb, but would not say who had targeted the vehicle.

He said the blast also damaged another nearby car and injured its driver.

Majib ur-Rahman, 40, a teacher who was injured in the blast, said he was reading a newspaper when "something exploded" near their pickup truck.

"I do not know what happened after the blast. But when I opened my eyes, I found myself on a hospital bed," he said.

Rahman and other injured victims were in stable condition, doctors said.

Karachi, Pakistan's largest city with a population of 14 million, has been the scene of several attacks against foreigners, minority Christians and Shiite Muslims in recent months, mostly blamed on Islamic militants who want President General Pervez Musharraf to end the country's support for the US' war on terror.

Musharraf, who made Pakistan a key ally of the US in its war on terror after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the US, escaped an assassination attempt in Karachi in April 2002 when an outlawed militant group tried to blow up his car by detonating a bomb on a road where his motorcade passed.

On May 31, a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Shiite Muslim mosque in the city, killing 18 people and wounding dozens of others.

On June 10, suspected Islamic militants with assault rifles and bombs attacked the motorcade of Lieutenant General Ahsan Saleem Hayat, Karachi's top general, killing 10 people, but missing Hayat.

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