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Pearl murder suspect dies in bomb blast

Pakistani police said a leading Islamic militant suspected of involvement in the murder of Daniel Pearl, the US reporter, may have blown himself up yesterday while making bombs in Karachi.

Four people, including a woman, died when an explosion caused a three-storey building to collapse.

Police said they found 11lb of explosives packed into the fuel tank of a motorcycle in the ruins of the building, as well as an identity card bearing a photo resembling Asif Ramzi, a terrorist suspect.

Ramzi is a member of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an outlawed extremist Islamist group. He was wanted in connection with the kidnap and murder of The Wall Street Journal reporter in January as well as a series of bomb attacks in Karachi.

Pearl was kidnapped in Karachi while researching a story on Islamic militants. A video later surfaced in Karachi showing Pearl had been brutally murdered after being forced to state that he was Jewish. His torso, severed head and other body parts were found in May on the outskirts of Karachi.

Another prominent Islamic militant, the British-born Omar Saeed Sheikh, was sentenced to death by a special anti-terrorism court in July for masterminding Pearl's kidnapping and murder.

A police spokesman said they found evidence of bomb-making in the ruins of the building. "There are indications that this place was used for terrorist activities," he said, adding that they had also found parts of two rockets. He said Ramzi was suspected of having sent parcel bombs to police officials in Karachi.(Reuters)