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Bush Heading to Pakistan Despite Bombing


A car-bomb attack aimed at the U.S. consulate in Karachi has killed at least five people, including an American foreign service officer.

President Bush condemned the attack and said the "terrorists and killers" responsible would not stop him from visiting Pakistan later this week. Mr. Bush is in New Delhi today, and he is scheduled to fly to Islamabad on Saturday after finishing his talks in India.

Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, is more than 15-hundred kilometers from the capital, where Mr. Bush will be meeting with President Pervez Musharraf.

Thursday's blast in Karachi injured at least 35 people. The bomb went off in a parking area outside of an American-owned hotel about 20 meters from the U.S. consulate.

Initial reports had said there were two bombs, but police in Karachi concluded that the secondary explosion came from the fuel tank of a car set afire by the original blast.

The consulate has been the target of several attacks by militants in recent years, including a bombing in 2002 that killed 14 people.

Pakistani officials say President Musharraf plans to ask Mr. Bush to support international safeguards that would protect Muslims from any future insults to their faith, such as those caused by cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. Opposition groups in Pakistan are planning nationwide rallies on Friday over the issue.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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