Cough Syrup Kills 13 in Pakistan

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 8:50 am (UTC-5)
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Officials in Pakistan say at least 13 people have died after drinking cough syrup that is suspected of being toxic.

The deaths occurred in the eastern city of Lahore over the last three days.

Police officials said Monday that most of those who were sickened by the cough syrup were drug addicts.

Authorities have shut down at least three pharmacies where the syrup was being sold. Samples of the cough syrup have been sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Separately on Monday, police say a bomb planted underneath the car of a prominent television anchor was found and defused in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

City police chief Bani Amin said half a kilogram of explosives were packed inside a metal tin and attached to the bottom of Hamid Mir's car. Mir, a host on GEO television, had stopped at the market when the bomb was placed under his vehicle.

It is unclear who planted the bomb.

Also Monday, officials say a bomb blast killed one person and wounded at least four others in the southern port city of Karachi.

Police say the bomb was detonated by mobile phone and that it may have been planted to target Shi'ite Muslims passing through the area.

Pakistan suspended mobile phone services throughout Karachi and other major cities in recent days to prevent such attacks. However, at least five people were killed Sunday in a bomb blast near a Shi'ite procession in the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan.

Pakistan's minority Shi'ites are observing the mourning rituals of Ashura in the holy month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Sunni extremists have frequently targeted Shi'ites during Muharram.