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Suicide Attack in Pakistan Kills US Diplomat, Pakistanis


A suicide car bomber outside the U.S. Consulate in southern Pakistan has killed at least three people, including an American diplomat. More than 50 people were injured. 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 press 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," Mr. Bush said.

The president heads to Pakistan late Friday for a series of meetings with President Pervez Musharraf, a key ally in the U.S.-led war on terror.

The bomb ripped through a parking area reserved for an American hotel, around 20 meters from the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city.

Local police chief Niaz Sadiqui says the initial investigation suggests the attacker rammed his car into a U.S. vehicle as it turned into the heavily guarded consulate.

"The suicide bomber has also been killed in this act. We have positive clues on which we are working to determine the hands behind this criminal and terrorist activity," he said.

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," Mr. Bush said.

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 same U.S. 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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