%mlink(STRY:V2480; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) _ A powerful bomb exploded in a movie theater in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi on Sunday, killing at least one person and injuring eight others, police and witnesses said.

The explosion took place during the showing of a movie at the Prince theater in the city center, police officials said. They said the theater was not very crowded at the time.

``The bomb exploded with a terrible bang, and then there was panic all over,'' said Mohammad Farooq, an audience member who escaped unhurt. ``Everyone started to run for the exits,'' he said.

The ceiling of the theater was badly damaged. Several shoes left in haste were scattered inside the hall.

Police said one person was killed and eight others rushed to the hospital.

The violence came a day before local elections were to be held in Karachi and several other cities.