SAfrica to review tour security after blasts

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LAHORE, Oct 19 (Reuters) South Africa will take advice from independent security consultants to decide whether to continue their tour of Pakistan after a suspected suicide bomber killed at least 133 people today.

The attack targeting former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto happened as she was driven through Karachi on her return from eight years in exile.

''Obviously, the security of the players is of paramount concern to us and we are shocked by the devastating incident in Karachi,'' team spokesman Owen Smith said.

''We will be getting feedback from our independent security consultants on the situation.'' South Africa played Pakistan in the first one-day international in Lahore yesterday and the second is scheduled for Saturday at the same venue.

The remaining matches are in Faisalabad on October 23, Multan October 26 and Karachi on October 29.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf told reporters after meeting South African team officials at the Gaddafi stadium that they were satisfied with the security cover provided.

''We are positive the tour will go on with no change in the itinerary and security for the South Africans will be further boosted,'' Ashraf said.

South African team management will address a news conference at 1200 GMT to announce their final decision on the tour.

Security has been tight since South Africa arrived in Pakistan with dozens of uniformed and plain-clothed policemen as well as commandoes looking after the team.

They played a three-day game and the first test in Karachi without incident.

Smith said the team management would meet with senior officials of Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to discuss the situation.

Last year, South Africa abandoned a tour in Sri Lanka after a bomb blast near the team hotel in Colombo.

REUTERS BJR VC1535

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