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Militants bomb bus, hospital in Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan — Suspected Sunni militants bombed a bus carrying Shiite worshippers and two hours later attacked a hospital treating the victims, killing 25 people and wounding 100 on Friday in a strike on Pakistan's largest city.

The blasts in the southern city of Karahi were the latest sign of the instability tearing at the nuclear-armed nation, which the United States regards as key to its hopes of defeating a related Taliban insurgency across the border in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani appealed for calm in the city, which is the country's commercial heart. It has a history of religious violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, and has been tense in recent weeks due to clashes between rival political parties that have left dozens dead.

No group claimed responsibility, but Pakistan is home to many al-Qaida-linked Sunni extremist groups with a history of attacking Shiites.

In late December, extremists in the city detonated a bomb that killed 44 Shiites attending a procession to mark Ashura, the anniversary of the death of revered Shiite figure Imam Hussein, sparking the city's worst riots in recent years. Friday's blasts coincided with Arbaeen, the final day of the annual 40-day mourning period for Hussein.