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Explosions Rock Downtown Islamabad

November 12, 1999

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Several explosions rocked downtown Islamabad Friday, police and witnesses said, with one blast near the U.S. Embassy and another outside an American cultural center. At least two people were wounded, police said.

An Associated Press reporter saw a car burning outside the cultural center. Police said it was apparently a car bomb, and firefighters were working to put out the flames.

The explosion near the embassy also was apparently a car bomb, police said. A U.N. car was in flames several hundreds yards from the embassy building. A third explosion occurred outside a Citibank branch, witnesses said, and a fourth blast was near the city’s World Bank building.

The explosions all occurred within several miles of each other in the downtown area. Afterwards, workers scurried into the streets to see what had happened.

The two people reported wounded were outside the cultural center known as the American Center when the explosion occurred. There was no immediate word on casualties at the site of the other blasts.

A student who identified himself only as Hussain said he was inside the library at the American Center when he heard an explosion. He said he and dozens of other people rushed outside to see what had happened.

Outside the U.S. Embassy, hundreds of people had gathered to watch as the U.N. car burned. Police were guarding the area.

Sirens wailed, and police cars and fire trucks swarmed through the streets. Plumes of smoke could be seen rising in several different areas.

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