4 killed, 28 injured in Taliban suicide attack in Pak



Karachi: A Taliban suicide bomber rammed a pickup truck laden with 180 kg of explosives into the headquarters of the paramilitary Pakistan Rangers on Thursday, leaving at least four people dead and 28 others injured.

The attacker slammed the truck into the gate of the Pakistan Rangers office in the heavily-populated North Nazimabad area of Karachi at about 7 am.

The impact of the blast was such that a two-storey building inside the Rangers headquarters in North Nazimabad area of Karachi was razed to the ground. Apart from the suicide bomber, three Rangers personnel on duty at the gate were killed in the attack, which also left 28 others injured, officials said.

"The intensity of the blast was very high as at least 180 kilograms of explosives were used in the attack. The blast was heard across the area and caused panic and fear," Sindh police chief Fayyaz Leghari said.

The suicide attack took place as people were waking up and getting ready for office. The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack, Geo News reported.

A Rangers spokesman said at least 22 personnel of the para-military force were among 28 people injured in the bomb attack.

The Sindh police chief said that it was a suicide attack and a mini truck was used in the blast.

"We have found body parts, which suggests it was a suicide attack," Leghari told the media.

Leghari said police had been alerted by intelligence agencies about possible attacks by terrorists to destabilise Karachi though there was no information about specific targets.

Security personnel detained two men who were filming the injured with mobile phones at a hospital.

Television channels reported that a suspicious person was also arrested from the vicinity of the Rangers headquarters soon after the blast.

Witnesses said the suicide bomber's truck was carrying vegetables. The explosion triggered a fire in the Pakistan Rangers building that was put out after about 90 minutes.

Footage on television showed a column of smoke rising into the sky. The blast also damaged several nearby buildings.

The attack occurred a day after Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf inaugurated an international defence exhibition in Karachi that is being attended by dozens of foreign delegates.

However, Sindh Police chief Leghari said the site of the attack was far away from the venue of the exhibition.

The city has been in the grip of violence and target killings for the past few weeks. Three more persons, including a police official, were killed today when a security vehicle came under attack in the troubled Sohrab Goth area of the city.

A spokesman for a strong faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban headed by Maulana Fazlullah who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sirajuddin Ahmad called up some media houses to say that the attack was a revenge for the "arrest, torture and killing of their people".

TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan also claimed responsibility and said such attacks will continue in the future because the Rangers "harass" their men in Karachi.

Maulana Fazlullah's faction was also behind the attack on 14-year Malala Yousufzai in Swat last month which caused outrage in Pakistan.

A Rangers spokesman identified the dead rangers as Lance Naik Khalid Mahmood, Sepoy Abdul Razzaq and Sepoy Imran Wali.

PTI