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Officials: Car bomb kills at least 11 policemen in Karachi

More than 50 officers were boarding the vehicle at the time of attack, police sources said

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A powerful car bomb attack on a police bus on Thursday in Pakistan's commercial hub of Karachi killed at least eight policemen and injured at least 36 others, officials said.

The attack came early in the morning. “Apparently an explosive-laden car hit the police bus transporting officials for security duty,” Muhammad Iqbal, a senior police official, told AFP.

Doctor Semi Jamali at Karachi's Jinnah hospital confirmed that they had received eight bodies. At least 36 injured officers were hospitalised, ten of whom were in critical condition, she said.

Police said that more than 50 officers were boarding the vehicle at the time of attack, which occurred in the eastern district of Karachi close to the national highway.

“Around 50-55 policemen were boarding the bus and going somewhere for duty from their training centre,” Iqbal said adding that police suspect it was a suicide attack.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Karachi, a city of 18 million people which contributes 42 percent of Pakistan's GDP, has been plagued by sectarian, ethnic and political violence for years.

Pakistan has endured a bloody start to the year with 114 people killed in attacks in January, according to an AFP tally.