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Abbas: Al Qaeda link probed

Abbas: Al Qaeda link probed


A car bombing outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killed 11 people Friday. At least 40 others were injured after the bomber drove an explosives-laden car into a guard post near the heavily guarded consular building.

On CNN's American Morning, anchor Paula Zahn talked to a local journalist about the early stages of the investigation.

Zahn: Joining us now from Karachi is journalist Azhar Abbas. What's the latest from there Azhar?

Abbas: Well, the latest is the police have held at least a couple of people and they are questioning them.

They have traced the number plates of the car, cars actually, which was used in the blast and they are tracing them.

I talked to one of my sources in intelligence and he told me that these people have stolen the cars, but they have traced a car showroom from which the car was probably bought, but they are still investigating.

It seems like the same modus operandi was used as was used in the May 8 blast outside the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi in which French nationals were killed. Officials are also saying that it seems like the same group is behind this blast and they are suspecting that they have links with al Qaeda.

Zahn: You were saying it seems like it was the same group. That previous group you were talking about, did they have strong ties to al Qaeda?

Abbas: Yes the previous group which was involved in the May 8 blast -- they had links to al Qaeda and people are suspecting that it is the same group

Zahn: Have they claimed responsibility yet for this attack?

Abbas: No, Nobody has claimed responsibility. The police are saying that there is, as such, no al Qaeda network in Karachi, but there are some groups that have sympathies with the al Qaeda.

So they probably are responsible, but they are not naming any names, no-one has claimed responsibility as such. They are still saying that "we are investigating" and unless we have some further proof they are not going to name names.

Zahn: And what is the level of fear after an attack like this?

Abbas: I was out on the streets. I went to a couple of major shopping areas where generally the foreign nationals shop. There was absolutely no one there. Generally the shopkeepers I talked to, even the Pakistanis I talked to, are really scared because they know this is the second such attack in a span of one and a half months, suicide attack. It is a new trend and people are really scared.

Some of the foreigners who are staying in hotels, I have talked to them, and some of them are packing bags as we speak and they are trying to book flights. They want to go out of the country right now.

Zahn: Azhar Abbas thank you very much for your report