American Diplomat Killed In Pakistan Suicide Attack
By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 2, 2006 An American diplomat was killed today in a suicide car-bomb attack near the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan.
"We have lost at least one U.S. citizen in a bombing, a foreign service officer, and I send our country's deepest condolences to that person's loved one and family," President Bush said during a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, India, today. "We also send the condolences to the people from Pakistan who lost their lives."
The U.S. diplomat and at least three others were killed in two explosions this morning that rocked a Marriott hotel parking lot adjacent to the consulate, U.S. officials said. According to news reports, more than 50 people were injured in the blast. Press reports also identified one of those killed as the diplomat's driver. The explosions occurred within minutes of each other. In the first incident, a car loaded with explosives drove directly into the car carrying the U.S. diplomat, reports state.
President Bush is scheduled to travel to Pakistan following his visit to India. Press reports say the president is not scheduled to visit Karachi.
"Terrorists and killers are not going to prevent me from going to Pakistan," he said. "It's important to talk with (Pakistani) President (Pervez) Musharraf about continuing our fight against terrorists. After all, he has had a direct stake in this fight -- four times, the terrorists have tried to kill him."
Steve Hadley, the president's national security adviser, said today in New Delhi that the attack is a reminder that the United States is at war, and he reaffirmed that Pakistan is an ally in the war on terrorism. "One of the reasons ... why the president is going to Pakistan is to show his solidarity with Pakistan and President Musharraf as he deals with the terror challenge that Pakistan faces," Hadley said.
Bush also reaffirmed the importance of the United States, India and Pakistan working together to defeat terrorism. "The way to defeat terrorism in the short run is to share intelligence and to take action," he said. "The way to defeat terrorism in the long run is to defeat the ideology of hate with an ideology of hope."