Two explosions including a deadly suicide car bombing ripped through Karachi, Pakistan on Thursday morning and left at least four dead - including a U.S. diplomat - and dozens wounded as President Bush prepares to visit Pakistan on Saturday. The bombs were detonated from 65-100 feet from the gates of the consulate outside of a hotel across the street. There has been no claim of responsibility as of yet.
Click here to see the live broadcast on Pakistani GEO TV of the attack. The newscast is not in English but the images of the moments after the bombing are quite powerful. Video of the attack begins at about 14 minutes, so just fast forward.
Speaking from New Delhi, India, President Bush announced that a U.S. diplomat, David Foy, was killed in the attack. "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," Bush said, declining to provide further details.
Bush confirmed that his trip to Islamabad will continue as scheduled, and underscored his support for Pakistan, a key American ally in the global fight against terrorism. "Terrorists and killers are not going to prevent me from going to Pakistan," Bush said.
AP reports that the blast ripped through the parking lot of the Marriott Hotel, about 60 feet from the consulate gate, shattering windows at the consulate and on all 10 floors of the hotel. Ten cars were destroyed, and charred wreckage was flung as far as 200 yards. Initial investigations showed a suicide attacker deliberately rammed his car into a vehicle carrying the U.S. diplomat, blowing it into the air, across a concrete barrier and into the grounds of the hotel. The driver of the diplomat's car, a Pakistani working for the consulate, also died. The other fatalities were a paramilitary guard and an unidentified woman. The attacker was also presumed killed in the attack, the two security officials said. His body was not recovered. The counterterrorism official said the attacker used high-intensity explosives and it was the most powerful blast he’d seen in Karachi - a hotbed of Islamic militancy.
CNN reports that a pair of explosions ripped through a parking lot Thursday morning behind the Marriott Hotel in Karachi and adjacent to the U.S. Consulate, killing four people and wounding about four dozen others, Pakistani officials and police said. Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Shairpao said the attack appeared to be the work of a suicide car bomber who was targeting the U.S. foreign service officer. He said the first blast took place as a car carrying the diplomat approached the entrance to the parking lot. The apparent suicide bomber accelerated his vehicle and crashed it into the diplomat's car, he said. The blast was so powerful that it tossed the diplomat's car over the wall and into the consulate grounds, he said.
Reuters reported at 12:45AM that a car bomb outside the Marriott Hotel and U.S. consulate in Karachi killed at least two people and wounded 18. As of 3:40AM those figures have not been updated. Brigadier Taqdees Lodhi, an officer of the paramilitary Rangers, said the explosives had been hidden in a parked car, and several cars were ablaze in the street. The blast occurred about 30 meters (100 feet) from the consulate. Witnesses said they heard a second, smaller blast but it was unclear whether that too was a bomb blast. Hotel windows were shattered, as were those of buildings for hundreds of meters around.
Pakistani GEO TV is lagging behind U.S. media, but reports that at least four people including a Rangers personnel were killed and 48 injured Thursday, some of them were in a critical state, when two bombs exploded near the U.S. consulate in Karachi. Several vehicles were also damaged in blasts. The first bomb was exploded at 9:05AM in a hotel parking lot was comparatively lesser intensity, while another more powerful explosion in a vehicle rocked the area after few minutes. Four of the wounded were in a critical state, hospital sources said...