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Pakistan Blast Injures at Least 12 During Tour

July 14, 2002|From Associated Press

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — An explosion Saturday possibly caused by a grenade injured about a dozen people, most of them German tourists, at an archeological site in northern Pakistan, officials said. No one was seriously hurt.

Authorities said the incident occurred in Mansehra, about 50 miles north of Islamabad, the capital. The area is on the ancient Silk Road between China and Europe and is rich in archeological sites.

Police said the blast occurred as about 20 tourists were leaving their van to view ancient inscriptions associated with the 3rd century BC Mauryan emperor Ashoka.

Police said seven Germans, three Austrians and three Pakistanis were injured. In Islamabad, however, the Interior Ministry listed seven Germans, one Austrian, one Slovene and three Pakistanis.

The tourists were headed to Islamabad under police escort, and it was impossible to clarify the difference. The government-run news agency quoted army Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema as saying that all the injured had been treated at a hospital and released.

Officials said they were uncertain what caused the blast, but the news agency quoted a senior Interior Ministry official as saying it was probably caused by a crude explosive device thrown at the tourists.

Police said they had brought an undisclosed number of people in for questioning.

A June 14 car bombing outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi killed 12 Pakistanis and injured 50. On May 8, a suicide bomber killed 11 French engineers and two other people in front of the Sheraton hotel in Karachi. On March 17, a grenade attack on a church in Islamabad killed the attacker and four others, including two Americans.

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