Twin suicide attacks kill 25 in Karachi: minister


Islamabad : Two suicide bomb attacks targeting Shiite Muslims killed 25 people in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, provincial health minister said.

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Dr Sagheer Ahmed said that 100 other people were also injured in the attacks in two hours’ time.

Incharge bomb disposal Munir Ahmed Sheikh said both were suicide attacks.

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Police Chief Wasim Ahmed said that a bomber rammed his explosive-packed motorcycle into a bus carrying Shiite Muslims at M.A. Jinnah road locality at 3 p.m. The Shiite pilgrims, mostly women and children, were traveling in the bus to join main religious procession.

Another bomb blast occurred near the gate of emergency ward of Jinnah hospital where the injured of the first blast were being treated, police said.

Witnesses said that some 200 people, including relatives of the victims of the first blast and those who wanted to donate blood, were gathered near the hospital when the second blast happened.

Health Minister Dr Sagheer said that 13 people were killed in the first attack while 12 lost lives in the second attack.

Shiite leaders expressed dissatisfaction at the ability of the police and paramilitary force to check terrorist acts in the country’s commercial center with population of 18 million people.

It is the second time that Shiite Muslims have been targeted in Karachi in less than two months.

On December 28, a bomb blast killed 47 Shiite Muslims in Karachi.

Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and religious leaders Friday condemned the two terrorist attacks in the port city of Karachi and asked the people to remain calm.

Prime Minister Gilani said calm in Karachi will help investigation agencies and security forces to perform their duties and reach out to arrest the culprits.

He appealed to all the political forces to play their role in maintaining peace. The Prime Minister also deplored the loss of innocent lives.

He said that such incidents of violence to disrupt the social fabric of our society could not succeed since the government and the people are committed to fight terrorism at all costs.

Shiite leaders, while making appeal for calm, announced three-day mourning to remember those killed in the blasts.

The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan condemned the terrorist attacks targeting innocent civilians today in Karachi.

“We extend our condolences to the victims’ families and friends, and to the Pakistani people,” the embassy’s statement said.