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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
US Karachi mission reopens
Pakistani soldiers
No arrests have been made so far
The United States consulate in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi has reopened after Friday's car bomb attack.

A spokesman said consulate staff were resuming normal operations, but only US citizens would be allowed into the building for time being.


For the near future the consulate building will only be open to the American citizens

John Kincannon,
consulate official
All US missions in Pakistan were closed after Friday's attack, in which 12 people were killed and dozens injured, all of them Pakistanis.

The US reopened its embassy in Islamabad and consulates in Lahore and Peshawar on Monday.

"Today [Tuesday], our full American and Pakistani staff are back at work and the consulate will begin resuming normal operations," consulate spokesman John Kincannon told the French news agency AFP.

US investigators at the bomb site
US agents have joined the investigation
But he added: "For the near future the consulate building will only be open to the American citizens."

Pakistani authorities have further tightened security measures around foreign missions, with paramilitary Rangers taking over guard duties at those considered at particular risk.

Meanwhile, Pakistani and US investigators are continuing their search for clues about the identity of the attackers.

No arrests

So far, the police have not arrested any suspects although senior investigator Manzur Mughal says three people have been questioned.

They include a mechanic from a car repair shop, a security guard and a student from a madrassa, or religious school.

Security officials at the Karachi bomb site
The hunt for clues continues

More than two dozen US investigators are said to have joined their Pakistani counterparts in the hunt for clues around the Karachi Consulate-General.

Correspondents have reported several theories about who might have been behind Friday's attack.

Initially, there were reports that it was a suicide attack by the driver of a car carrying a bomb, similar to the fatal attack on French naval technicians in Karachi a month ago.

Investigators now say they are examining the possibility that it was a remotely-detonated bomb placed in a car belonging to a nearby driving school, driven by an unsuspecting instructor.

Serious threats

Soon after the attack, a hitherto unheard of group calling itself al-Qanoon (the law) sent a faxed message to a local newspaper saying it carried out the attack.

This was reportedly followed by other messages, one demanding that President Pervez Musharraf, who was criticised for his support for the US-led "war on terrorism", should resign.

The Pakistani press has reported that a number of messages have been faxed to the British High Commission in Karachi threatening an attack, although this has not been confirmed.

However, Pakistani police say they are taking al-Qanoon and its threats seriously.

Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat

Background

TALKING POINT

FROM THE ARCHIVES

BBC WORLD SERVICE
See also:

15 Jun 02 | South Asia
14 Jun 02 | South Asia
14 Jun 02 | South Asia
06 Jun 02 | South Asia
02 May 02 | Country profiles
13 Jan 02 | South Asia
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