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Suicide Attack in Pakistan Kills US Diplomat, Pakistanis

  • Benjamin Sand

A suspected suicide car bombing outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan has injured more than 40 people and killed at least four others, including an American diplomat. President Bush, scheduled to visit Pakistan later this week, vowed the deadly attack will not force a change in his plans.

President Bush took time, during a joint news conference with the Indian prime minister in New Delhi, to give his response to the bomb attack in Karachi.

"Terrorists and killers are not going to prevent me from going to Pakistan," he said.

The president is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan early Saturday for meetings with President Pervez Musharraf, a key ally in the U.S.-led war on terror.

Several local police officials say a suicide bomber rammed his car into a U.S. vehicle as it turned into the heavily guarded consulate. Officially, the cause of the blast remains under investigation.

The massive explosion destroyed at least 10 cars and shattered windows at the consulate and a nearby hotel.

President Bush confirmed the attack had killed at least one American.

"We have lost at least one U.S. citizen in the bombing, a foreign service officer, and I send our country's deepest condolences to that person's loved ones and family," said President Bush.

Mr. Bush also expressed condolences on the death of several Pakistanis in the blast. U.S. officials say a Pakistani national employed at the consulate was among the dead.

In a written statement, the Pakistan government sharply condemned the attack and expressed "deep sadness" over the loss of life.

A similar car bombing killed more than a dozen people outside the consulate in 2002. In 2004, police defused a bomb near the consulate just moments before it was timed to explode.

The port city is considered a regional hub for militant groups and Islamic extremists.

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