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South Pakistan Explosion Kills 8

January 17, 2000

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) _ A bomb exploded in a congested neighborhood in this southern port city today, killing at least eight people and wounding 31 others, officials said.

The explosion, believed to be a time bomb hidden in a fruit cart, destroyed three shops and sent an electrical power pole crashing to the ground, they said.

No one took immediate responsibility for the explosion and police said they had no suspects. A bomb disposal expert at the scene, identified only as Moinuddin, said that two pounds of explosive material was used in the device. He said it was detonated by a timer.

The explosion occurred near a bus stop, where dozens of people had gathered to commute home for the evening.

There was pandemonium following the explosion, said Abid Ali, a rescue worker, who dug through the rubble looking for survivors.

``It was a massive explosion. People were running and screaming. One of the electrical transformer lines was destroyed,″ said Ali.

Residents of the area rushed to help. Witnesses said people put the wounded into taxis, trucks and private vehicles to take them to nearby hospitals.

The army-appointed governor of southern Sindh province, where Karachi is the capital, blamed the bombing on neighboring India.

``This is an act of terrorism,″ said Azim Daudpota. He blamed India’s intelligence agency, known as the Research and Analysis Wing. He didn’t offer any evidence to substantiate his charge.

India and Pakistan routinely trade accusations accusing each other of committing acts of terrorism.

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