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Saturday, 29 June, 2002, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
Pakistan names 'Karachi bombers'
composite photo of the alleged bombers
Police say many belong to a banned Muslim group
Pakistani police have published photographs of 10 alleged militants suspected of carrying out recent deadly bombings in the southern city of Karachi.

The photos, along with rewards totalling 20m rupees ($320,000) for help in capturing the suspects, appeared in a number of Pakistani newspapers on Saturday.

It could be Lashkar-e-Jhangvi on its own, or in combination with other groups

Syed Kamal Shah,
Sindh police chief
It is the first time the authorities have identified suspects in the 14 June blast outside the US Karachi consulate, which killed 12 Pakistanis, and the 8 May car bombing near the city's Sheraton Hotel, which killed 14 people, including 11 French engineers.

But police were subsequently forced to issue a clarification, because one of those featured in the composite photo had been included in error.

They have apologised to the man (pictured above, second from right, bottom row), who it turns out is a chief engineer of Pakistan International Airlines.

Security officials at the Karachi bomb site
The hunt for clues continues
His picture was found in one of the suspect's houses, and officials are stressing that he is a possible target, not a suspect.

Police say most of the suspects are members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group banned along with a number of other Muslim extremist organisations last year.

"This gang has been identified as being behind major terrorist attacks, including the consulate blast," Sindh provincial home secretary Brigadier Mukhtar Sheikh told the French news agency AFP.

"But we are not ruling out the possibility of other gangs as well."

Police also said they believe the suspects could be linked to the kidnapping and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl.

The photographs were published after police interrogated dozens of Sunni militants rounded up in the past week, officials said.

New leads

Pakistani investigators are working with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to track down those behind the bombing outside the US consulate, which killed 12 Pakistanis and injured 40 others.

Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider said last Sunday that "some links" had been established between the two bombings.

US investigators at the bomb site
Investigations are focusing on a pick-up truck
More than two dozen US investigators are said to have joined their Pakistani counterparts in the hunt for clues around the Karachi consulate.

The FBI has wrapped up its investigation of the site.

Investigators are believed to have been focusing on a Suzuki pick-up vehicle that was destroyed in the blast.

Mr Haider said they had ruled out the possibility that it was a remotely-detonated bomb placed in a car belonging to a nearby driving school, driven by an unsuspecting instructor.

Back to work

The consulate reopened a fortnight ago.

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

All US missions in Pakistan were closed after the attack, but the US reopened its embassy in Islamabad and consulates in Lahore and Peshawar.

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

Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat




See also:

18 Jun 02 | South Asia
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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