Ten killed in car bombing in Pakistan's largest city

Friday, November 12, 2010
Pakistani security officials and media people gather at the site of bomb explosion Thursday in Karachi, Pakistan. A powerful bomb in the center of Pakistan's largest city leveled a police building, killing scores of people and wounding many, police and witnesses said. (Shakil Adil ~ Associated Press)

KARACHI, Pakistan -- Suspected militants detonated a car bomb in the heart of Pakistan's largest city Thursday, destroying a police investigation bureau and killing at least 10 people, police and witnesses said.

The explosion rocked a high-security area of Karachi that is home to the U.S Consulate, two luxury hotels and the offices of government leaders, showing the reach of Islamist militants in the city despite efforts to crack down on them.

Gunmen first opened fired on the office of the Crime Investigation Department before detonating a massive car bomb, said Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza. The building has a detention facility that was believed to be holding criminals, and possibly militants.

The CID takes the lead in hunting down terrorists in Karachi. Earlier this week, the agency arrested six members of the militant Lashkar-e- Jhangvi group. The suspects were presented before a court earlier Thursday.

The blast was heard several miles away in this city of 14 million people. It destroyed much of the several-story police building, damaged nearby houses and left a 10-foot-wide crater in the road. The U.S. Consulate, about a mile from the blast, was undamaged.

"We heard different kinds of firing for several minutes and then a deafening explosion," said Ali Hussain, who was covered in dust. "The roof of our house collapsed."

TV footage showed bloodied victims leaving the scene and security officers searching through the debris of the police building.

Dr. Seemi Jamai said 10 bodies had been brought to a nearby hospital, along with 90 injured.

Pakistan is battling Islamist militants with links to al-Qaida that are trying to overthrow the U.S.-allied government. The insurgents have repeatedly bombed government, police and Western targets over the last three years, including in Karachi.

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