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u.s. consulate hit in pakistan

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KARACHI, Pakistan - A suicide attacker rammed a car packed with explosives into a vehicle carrying an American diplomat in Pakistan's largest city, killing the diplomat and three other people before President Bush's visit to Pakistan. Fifty-two people were wounded.

The blast near the U.S. Consulate and the Marriott Hotel propelled cars into the air and flung charred wreckage as far as 200 yards. It shattered windows at the consulate and on all 10 floors of the hotel, and damaged a nearby naval hospital.

Bush condemned the attack and said "terrorists and killers" would not prevent him from going to Pakistan on the final leg of his tour of South Asia.

Karachi police chief Niaz Sadiqui said the attacker intended to hit the consulate, but a Pakistani paramilitary guard tried to stop him, so the attacker rammed his car into the diplomat's vehicle instead. The guard also died in the blast.

"We have reached the conclusion that it was a suicide attack, and we have found body parts of the attacker," Sadiqui said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. But previous attacks on Westerners in Karachi have been blamed on al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremist groups. Several suspects have been convicted, but others remain at large.

"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 at a news conference in neighboring India without naming the diplomat.

The explosion, which ripped out a crater 8 feet wide and more than 2 feet deep, tore through the parking lot of the Marriott, which is about 20 yards from the consulate. Ten cars were destroyed. A man's body, with part of the head missing, was flung onto the hotel's second story.

The Marriott Hotel's deputy manager, Shahzad Ashif, said Thursday's blast broke windows on all 10 floors and blew out balcony door latches on the first two floors, but no guests were injured. The hotel was being evacuated and guests moved to other hotels, he said.

The diplomat's car was blown into the air, across a concrete barrier and onto the grounds of the hotel. The driver, a Pakistani working for the consulate, also died. The other fatality was an unidentified woman.

A counterterrorism official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the attacker used high-intensity explosives, and the attack was the most powerful blast he had seen in Karachi — a hotbed of Islamic militancy.

A Pakistani Foreign Ministry statement said the bombing was a "horrific terrorist attack" and expressed "deep sadness" over the deaths of the American diplomat and his local driver.

"This senseless act today further fortifies our resolve to fight terrorism," the statement said. "We all must work together to eliminate this terrible menace."

Police initially said two car bombs went off, but provincial police chief Jahangir Mirza said a single bomb may have triggered a second smaller explosion in a burning car.

Some 52 people were injured, including a young Moroccan girl hit by flying debris, provincial government spokesman Salahuddin Haider said. Investigators were trying to get video footage from surveillance cameras at the consulate, he said.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Nida Emmons confirmed that an American and Pakistani employee of the consulate were killed but would not give their names. He said they were still investigating if any other consulate staff were hurt.

Mohammed Ali, who sells cigarettes nearby, said the first explosion occurred at about 9 a.m., knocking him down and flattening his wooden stall.

"Seconds later there was another explosion. We ran away to save our lives," Ali said. "The explosions set cars on fire and there was smoke all around ... I thought the explosions would burst my ear drums."

Mohammed Jameel, a former army colonel who was getting a medical checkup at the naval hospital, said the first explosion was "very intense" and the second one was smaller.

"I saw two burning car seats land in the hospital lawn," he said.

Officials said the bombing could be timed for Bush's visit to Pakistan.

Bush is scheduled to fly on Friday to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, about 1,000 miles north of Karachi, but his exact arrival time is being kept secret. He made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Wednesday before going to India.

"All international media are eyeing Pakistan at this time, and terrorists are using this to defame Pakistan and Muslims," provincial Gov. Ishratul Ibab said.

Islamic militants have targeted the U.S. Consulate in Karachi before.

In June 2002, a car bomb killed 14 Pakistanis outside the building, which lies in an upscale district of the sprawling city's downtown.

In March 2004, police defused a huge bomb less than five minutes before it was timed to explode outside the consulate. The bomb was packed in a small van parked on a street near the building.


Peace to All creatures great and small............................................

But when we turn to the Hebrew literature, we do not find such jokes about the donkey. Rather the animal is known for its strength and its loyalty to its master (Genesis 49:14; Numbers 22:30).

Peppi_drinking_beer.jpg

my burro, bosco ..enjoying a beer in almaty

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.ph...st&id=10835

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sigh


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



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i assume this slow the process for those awaiting visas from pakistan...


Peace to All creatures great and small............................................

But when we turn to the Hebrew literature, we do not find such jokes about the donkey. Rather the animal is known for its strength and its loyalty to its master (Genesis 49:14; Numbers 22:30).

Peppi_drinking_beer.jpg

my burro, bosco ..enjoying a beer in almaty

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.ph...st&id=10835

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Dean, that will slow it down by increasing scrutiny.

Loadwise, no difference--as all visa services are done in Islamabad (and have been since at least 1998, per a former colleague originally from Karachi--but whose "home city" in Canada is Pigtown :P).


2005/07/10 I-129F filed for Pras

2005/11/07 I-129F approved, forwarded to NVC--to Chennai Consulate 2005/11/14

2005/12/02 Packet-3 received from Chennai

2005/12/21 Visa Interview Date

2006/04/04 Pras' entry into US at DTW

2006/04/15 Church Wedding at Novi (Detroit suburb), MI

2006/05/01 AOS Packet (I-485/I-131/I-765) filed at Chicago

2006/08/23 AP and EAD approved. Two down, 1.5 to go

2006/10/13 Pras' I-485 interview--APPROVED!

2006/10/27 Pras' conditional GC arrives -- .5 to go (2 yrs to Conditions Removal)

2008/07/21 I-751 (conditions removal) filed

2008/08/22 I-751 biometrics completed

2009/06/18 I-751 approved

2009/07/03 10-year GC received; last 0.5 done!

2009/07/23 Pras files N-400

2009/11/16 My 46TH birthday, Pras N-400 approved

2010/03/18 Pras' swear-in

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As long as the LORD's beside me, I don't care if this road ever ends.

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