No claim of responsibility yet for Pakistan bombing that killed 45

Updated 6:59 AM EST, Mon March 4, 2013
00:58 - Source: CNN
Car bomb expoldes in Pakistan market

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The blast apparently targeted Shiites in Karachi, police say

Authorities say the toll could rise as rescue workers search the rubble

Shiites have been the victims of dozens of sectarian attacks in the past year

No group has stepped forward so far to claim responsibility for a massive car bombing in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi that killed at least 45 people over the weekend in what appeared to be the latest attack on the Shiite minority in the country.

The blast Sunday tore into nearby buildings, wounding about 150 people, and authorities warned that the death toll could rise as rescue workers continued to search for bodies amid the rubble.

Caused by a vehicle loaded with about 150 kilograms (330 lbs) of explosives set to a timer, the explosion took place in Abbas Town, an area of Karachi where many Shiite Muslims live, police said.

At least 42 people died and another 145 were wounded in a massive car bombing Sunday in the large Pakistani seaport city of Karachi, authorities said.

The toll could rise as rescue workers continued to recover bodies early Monday, said Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi, the top government official in Karachi.

Pakistani security forces responded by carrying out raids in the area in which four militants were killed and others arrested. But Sunday’s attack in Karachi suggested they hadn’t done enough to dissuade further attacks.

Amnesty International says it has documented 92 separate attacks on Shiites across Pakistan since January 2012 that have resulted in the deaths of more than 500 people. It has criticized what it says is the lack of prosecutions of those responsible for the violence.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and President Asif Ali Zardari both condemned the bombing Sunday.

The blast apparently targeted Shiite Muslims who lived in buildings surrounding where the vehicle, loaded with 150 kilograms of explosives, was parked, according to senior Karachi police official Rao Anwar Ahmed.

In February 2010, for instance, at least 18 people died in blasts targeting a bus full of Shiite religious observers and another in front of a hospital. And in late 2009, a suicide bombing targeting a Shiite procession moving through Karachi killed at least 40 people.

And in late 2009, a suicide bomb attack on a Shiite procession moving through Karachi killed at least 40 people.

CNN’s Nasir Habib reported from Islamabad and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong