“Brother, this is the American Embassy?”

Kamran Khan, who is the Washington Post‘s correspondent in Karachi, was in the U.S. consulate when a car bomb exploded outside it yesterday, killing 10 Pakistanis. His first-person story in today’s Post is riveting. Khan may have spoken, as he approached the consulate, with one of the bombers; the man asked suspicious questions about the building. Khan had just gotten inside when the bomb went off: “I was standing at the receptionist’s desk, watching her tell my host I had arrived, when the phone blew out of her hand. In the same instant, the bulletproof glass of the reception door crashed a few inches to my left. The deafening roar of the explosion, perhaps 100 feet away, was followed by the screech of tires on Abdullah Haroon Road. Over the noise outside, you could hardly hear the screams of the receptionist, who was now under her desk.”

Author: Peter Maass

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. In 1983, after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, I went to Brussels as a copy editor for The Wall Street Journal/Europe. I left the Journal in 1985 to write for The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, covering NATO and the European Union. In 1987 I moved to Seoul, South Korea, where I wrote primarily for The Washington Post. After three years in Asia I moved to Budapest to cover Eastern Europe and the Balkans. I spent most of 1992 and 1993 covering the war in Bosnia for the Post.