5 Japanese escape unhurt, Pakistani security guard killed in suicide bombing attempt in Karachi

Two terrorists in a van attempted to hit the vehicle carrying Japenese citizens

Pakistan suicide bombing attempt A Pakistani police officer stands guard as investigators examine the site of a suicide attack in Karachi, Pakistan | AP

Five Japanese nationals working for Suzuki Motors had a lucky escape but their private security guard was killed when their van was targeted by a suicide bomber and a gunman here in Pakistan's port city on Friday, in the latest terrorist attack on foreign nationals in the country.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) East Azfar Mahesar said the two terrorists, who were already waiting for the van on the road near Murtaza Chorangi in Landhi, attempted to hit the vehicle carrying Japanese nationals.

All five Japanese remained safe," he said of the attack which took place at an upscale community in Karachi early morning.

The suicide bomber was killed in the attack while an accomplice was gunned down by police. A private security guard accompanying the Japanese national died after succumbing to his injuries while two bystanders were also injured, Dawn News quoted officials as saying.

The Japanese nationals were on the way to the Export Processing Zone from their residence in Zamzama, Clifton, he said. The Japanese nationals were working with Pakistan Suzuki Motors, media reports said.

Jinnah Hospital officials said three people were brought to the facility in critical condition.

One of the injured, a 45-year-old security guard, succumbed to his injuries while another injured was shifted to the ventilator, Geo News quoted the hospital administration as saying.

The administration said one more injured person is receiving treatment at the hospital.

Nosheen, Jinnah Hospital's emergency in-charge, confirmed that no foreign national was injured in the accident. The incident comes less than a month after five Chinese nationals and one Pakistani man were killed in a suicide bombing in Bisham in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

In Tokyo, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said several Japanese were involved in the incident and that one of them was injured. The Pakistani side did not confirm that information, Kyodo News Agency reported.

Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan and the capital of southern Sindh province.

Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in-charge Raja Umar Khattab said the Japanese nationals were travelling in a convoy of three cars.

The suicide bomber and his accomplice were already present in the area. When they saw the cars, the suicide bomber attacked, he said.

The official further said the attackers' accomplice panicked as the suicide attack did not achieve its objective and opened fire.

He said that officials then gunned down the second terrorist. From what I checked, the terrorist fired about 15 rounds. Other than that, he also had some grenades, he said.

Police were escorting the van after receiving reports about possible attacks on foreigners who are working in Pakistan on various Chinese-funded and other projects, said Tariq Mastoi, a senior police official.

He said a timely and quick response from the guards and police foiled the attack and both attackers were killed.

Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) DIG Asif Aijaz Shaikh said the Japanese nationals were travelling in a van along with two security guards when the terrorists tried to hit the van.

No one has claimed responsibility so far, the DIG said, adding that the vehicle carrying the Japanese nationals was bullet-proof.

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif denounced the attack on the Japanese nationals and praised the police for the quick response in foiling the attack.

Sharif in a statement on X strongly condemned the incident and prayed for the recovery of the injured.

We will not rest until terrorism has been completely eradicated. We will thwart every nefarious act of disturbing the law and order situation, the premier said.

President Zardari also commended the police's timely action against the terrorists.

Former foreign minister and Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari strongly condemned the attack and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured, according to a statement on X.

He expressed the hope that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.

The ex-foreign minister emphasised that relations between Pakistan and Japan were of utmost importance and added that the enemies of both countries were trying to ruin these ties.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah directed Inspector General Ghulam Nabi Memon to submit a detailed report of the incident and ascertain who the terrorists were, where they came from, any information on their facilitators and details of explosives used in the blast.

He instructed the police to make immediate arrangements for the security of the foreign nationals.

Small separatist groups and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have in recent years stepped up attacks on Chinese nationals working on projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which includes a multitude of megaprojects such as road construction, power plants and agriculture.

However, the Japanese nationals working in Pakistan have not been the target of any such attacks.

Between March 16 and March 26, insurgents in the restive Balochistan province claimed to have carried out three terror attacks, mostly targeting Chinese nationals and interests.

The Baloch Liberation Army, an outlawed outfit in Balochistan, claimed the attack on Gwadar port, an integral part of the CPEC project, built with Chinese help.


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