Nine injured by parcel bombs at Karachi government offices

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The Independent Online

Police and government offices in Karachi were shaken by a series of parcel bombs that exploded in quick succession yesterday, injuring at least nine people.

Police and government offices in Karachi were shaken by a series of parcel bombs that exploded in quick succession yesterday, injuring at least nine people.

One of the packages was marked "From Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal", said the Sindh province Home Secretary, Mukhtar Ahmad Sheikh. This was a reference to the United Action Front, a coalition of anti-American religious parties that made unprecedented gains in last week's elections.

Four other parcel bombs were spotted and defused, including two found at a courier service office that read: "From the MMA to you, with love and flowers."

Mr Sheikh said there was no reason to believe the group, whose Urdu-language initials are MMA, was actually behind the attacks. "At the moment we cannot say who is involved," he said.

In Islamabad, one of the group's leaders, Riaz Durrani, condemned the bombings. "We know anti-Islamic elements want to defame us with such acts," he said.

E-mails claiming responsibility on behalf of militant Muslims were received by a Pakistani daily newspaper and a local news agency. The e-mails said 35 packages had been sent as "a warning to those police officers involved in operations against Mujahedin at the behest of the Americans".

They threatened that guerrilla operations would soon start against "anti-Islam police officers and other infidels". Other Muslims are planning a mass attack on the United States, they said.

Nine wounded were brought to Jinnah hospital, the most serious of them with his hand blown off, said Dr Seemi Jamali. He said the man's other hand would also need to be amputated. Other victims had injuries to the chest, neck, face and hands.

Mr Sheikh said a man injured in one of the explosions was being detained as a suspect in the bombings. (AP)

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