Eleven police officers died and 40 other people were wounded Thursday in a suicide attack on a police van in the port city of Karachi, Pakistani authorities said.

The attack occurred early in the morning near the Razzaqabad training center when the suicide bomber maneuvered his vehicle beside the van in which about 50 officers were riding, police chief Munir Sheikh told Geo television.

Eight of the wounded are in critical condition.

With some 20 million residents, Karachi is Pakistan's most populated city and also its financial capital.

The city is the site of ongoing violent incidents ranging from clashes between criminal bands to sectarian attacks among religious groups and armed actions by Taliban insurgents.

The arrival of hundreds of thousands of Pashtuns who for years have been fleeing the violence in the country's northwestern tribal region has accentuated ethnic confrontations in the city and has also camouflaged the arrival of many Taliban and Pakistani militants from neighboring Afghanistan. EFE