Gunmen attack Japanese consular car in Pakistan

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By Associated Press

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a Japanese consular vehicle in Pakistan's largest city Thursday, wounding two local employees and underscoring the fragile security in the country.

Islamist militants have targeted foreigners in Pakistan before, but police said the attack may have been an attempted robbery. Karachi is a chaotic city of 16 million, and violence linked to criminal gangs, political and ethnic rivalries and Muslim extremists is common.

Elsewhere in the country, an American missile strike killed seven suspected militants close to the Afghan border, the latest in a surge of such attacks over the last two months.

The shooting in Karachi happened soon after the three Pakistanis in the car had stopped by a bank to get cash, police official Javed Akbar Riaz said. The two wounded men were in stable condition, he said.

Kazuwhiro Kawase, a spokesman at Japan's Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, confirmed the shooting and said no Japanese diplomats were in the vehicle. Police in Karachi said the car's license plates indicated it belonged to the Japanese consulate.

Japan and Pakistan have good relations, and Tokyo has been generous in providing aid to the Muslim-majority nation.

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