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Suspects Detained in Pakistani Car-Bomb Explosion - 2002-05-09

Authorities in Pakistan have detained more than a 100 suspected members of outlawed Islamic groups in connection with Wednesday's bomb attack. Fifteen people, including 11 French citizens died in the bombing outside a luxury hotel in Karachi.

Pakistani officials say an investigation into the suicide car bomb attack is continuing in Karachi. They say a large number of activists allegedly belonging to extremist groups have been picked up in the process.

Twelve French naval workers wounded in the deadly attack were flown back to France in a flying-military hospital on Thursday. Earlier, French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie arrived in Pakistan. She visited the wounded Frenchmen at a Karachi hospital before their departure.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing. Three Pakistanis and the suicide attacker were among those killed in Wednesday's explosion outside the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi. The French nationals, who died, were working on a submarine project for the Pakistani government.

Leaders in Pakistan and France say they suspect Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network is behind the bombing. French and reportedly U.S. investigators have joined local authorities to trace that link.

Pakistan's support to international anti-terrorist efforts has outraged many Islamic militants in the country, allegedly linked to al-Qaida.

The Karachi bombing is the second such incident this year targeting foreign citizens in Pakistan. In March, five people were killed in a grenade attack on an international church in Islamabad. A U.S. embassy worker and her daughter were among the dead.