Shahid Iqbal in Karachi
At least 12 people were killed and more than 40 injured on Friday morning in what local police said was a suicide bombing attack on the US consulate in Karachi.
The car, which was stuffed with explosives, was completely destroyed and it was difficult to ascertain immediately whether it was a passenger vehicle or an ambulance.
Eyewitness said body parts were found spread some 100 to 200 feet away from the blast site.
The police found a skull and remains of a human brain from a park opposite the US consulate.
The US consulate has been practically closed for more than three years, and only Pakistani staffers, who handle the library and other essential work, were present.
Karachi police chief Tarique Jamil confirmed the death toll and said 40 others had been injured.
Most of the victims were thought to be Pakistanis. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Police quoting eyewitness accounts said the vehicle, which resembled an ambulance, rammed a protective wall and police guardhouse near the consulate.
The blast knocked the guardhouse about 150 away into the park and left a 12-foot crater. The explosion damaged communications equipment on the roof of the consulate and dozens of nearby shops.
The blast also destroyed every window of the adjacent Marriott hotel, but nobody in the hotel was injured.
The blast occurred just after 11 am.
Karachi is Pakistan's largest city and commercial hub but it is also known as the country's violence capital where scores of people are killed every year in ethnic, religious and political violence.
On May 8, a suicide bomber attacked a Pakistan navy vehicle carrying French experts who were working on a defense project outside Karachi. At least 14 people, including 11 Frenchmen, were killed in the attack.
At least five people, including a US diplomat's wife and daughter, were killed in March when terrorists hurled grenades inside a church in the capital, Islamabad, during a Sunday service.
Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was kidnapped in Karachi in January and was later killed by Islamic militants demanding the release of Pakistani prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the United States is holding Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters.
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