updated 9/19/2003 5:44:59 AM ET 2003-09-19T09:44:59

A bomb hidden in a trash bin on the 10th floor of an office building exploded Friday in the southern city of Karachi, shattering windows and raining debris onto the street, but there were no reports of casualties, police said. The motive for the bombing was not immediately clear.

“IT COULD BE a business dispute but we cannot rule out terrorist activities. The matter must be investigated,” said police officer Mohammed Saleem in Karachi.

Residents said the explosion was loud enough to be heard throughout the city of 14 million people. Police official Mohammed Ashraf told The Associated Press that there was no major damage and no apparent injuries.

The bomb occurred in the evening, when the offices were closed.

Interior Ministry spokesman Iftikhar Ahmad said they had no indication of who was behind the blast and the names of the businesses at the site weren’t immediately available.

A large cloud of smoke poured from the building in a mixed residential and commercial neighborhood in the east of the city. Police cordoned off the area.

Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, has been the site of several terrorist attacks in recent years, as well as bouts of sectarian violence.

In June 2002, a suicide bomber blew up a truck in front of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, killing 14 Pakistanis. The attack came a month after another suicide attack in the city that killed 11 French engineers.

© 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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