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Sunday, 12 May, 2002, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Pakistan steps up security measures
A police convoy escorting New Zealand cricket team in Karachi
The new tactics of attackers has alarmed the government
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By Susannah Price
BBC correspondent in Islamabad

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has announced a new series of anti-terrorism measures following Wednesday's suicide attack in Karachi which killed 15 people, most of them French nationals.

The measures include setting up a new investigation cell and enhancing security on the western border with Afghanistan.

The authorities said the new investigation force would be part of the federal investigation agency and would be equipped with the latest technology and staff trained overseas.

President Musharraf has called off his planned tour to Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to supervise the moves.

Alarming tactics

The government has been particularly alarmed by the new tactics being used by attackers.

Coffin of a French technician
The attack is believed to be the work of al-Qaeda network

Suicide bombers were unheard of in Pakistan before this year, but in March, a man armed with grenades attacked a church in Islamabad used by foreigners and was apparently among those who died.

And in Wednesday's attack a suicide bomber drove his car into a bus carrying French technicians working with the Pakistani navy.

The authorities have detained nearly 400 people for questioning in connection with the bombing, most of them members of extremist groups.

Continuing violence

The Interior Secretary, Tasneem Noorani, also said they were stepping up security on the western border with Afghanistan.

He said five helicopters and three planes would be used.

Many believe the suicide bombing could be the work of members of the al-Qaeda network who have crossed the porous border from Afghanistan into Pakistan.

There has been criticism of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies for failing to stop the bombing in the heart of Pakistan's largest city.

An official announcement said President Musharraf wanted to help lead the fight against terrorism.

See also:

08 Jun 02 | South Asia
Musharraf confirms US troops in action
27 Apr 02 | South Asia
US forces 'join Pakistani raid'
14 Dec 01 | South Asia
Analysis: Pakistan's tribal frontiers
14 Feb 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Pakistan
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