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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 April, 2004, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
Five policemen killed in Pakistan
Gunmen have stormed a police station in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi and shot dead five officers.

The attackers entered the small post near the airport as some of the policemen were at morning prayers, a police source told AP news agency.

One of the gunmen was killed as police officers returned fire, while the others escaped by car.

The authorities have not commented on who they believe was behind Sunday morning's shootings.

"Of course this is terrorism, but we don't know what kind yet," a police officer told AP.

The city has seen several previous attacks by Islamist militants and has a history of Sunni-Shia Muslim sectarian violence.

Last month, police defused a huge car bomb outside the US Consulate.

In 2002, attacks by Islamic militants on Western interests killed nearly 30 people.

A hail of bullets

Around 10 gunmen entered the station and shouted: "We will not leave any police alive," an officer said.

One report said the attackers opened fire after demanding the officers recite Islamic verses.

A policeman told AP he returned fire from the prayer room, striking one assailant.

The gunmen then fled in two waiting vehicles, taking the dead member of their group with them.

In the past few months, the government has intensified its campaign against banned militant groups, some of which are based in Karachi.

The authorities have now stepped up security at police stations around the city.

The BBC's Paul Anderson
"The police have come under frequent attack in Karachi"


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