19 killed in Karachi suicide blast (Third Lead)

November 12th, 2010 - 1:39 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban By Awais Saleem
Islamabad, Nov 12 (IANS) At least 19 people were killed and more than 110 were injured Thursday night when an explosives-laden vehicle rammed into a police station in a high-security zone in downtown Karachi, Pakistan’s largest metropolis, authorities said.

Inspector General of Police, Sindh, Sultan Babar Khattak said “four-five terrorists attacked the police station from two sides and exchanged fire with security officials at the check post for five-ten minutes”.

Home Minister of Sindh, Zulfiqar Mirza, said the “truck was carrying around 1,000 kg explosive and the nature of the blast was very much similar to the attack at Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in 2008″.

The blast site is just a few steps away from the house of Sindh province chief minister, five-star hotels, the US consulate and other important buildings. A meeting of Sindh cabinet was underway at the chief minister’s house when the terrorists struck.

Police sources said that the attack targeted the Crime Investigation Department (CID) police station because “a Taliban commander Iqbal Bajori arrested a day before along with six other suspected terrorists was kept there”.

Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Fayyaz Leghari, however, said: “No high-profile target was present in the premises”. Chairman Citizen Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) Ahmad Chinoy said, “Security lapse could not be ruled out in the unfortunate incident”.

A 10-12 feet crator was created at the site following the blast while thick black smoke kept emitting for quite a while. The residential quarters of the police station staff were razed to the ground along with the main building and around 10 other buildings.

Banned militant outfit Tehreek-i-Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has condemned the blast and sought a detailed report from the police.

A revered shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi was hit by a suicide blast last month killing more than 10 people in Karachi while two Shia processions were hit earlier this year, causing heavy casualties.

Pakistan has been hit by terrorist activities during the last few years as a backlash from the “war on terror” that is underway in northwestern areas and neighbouring Afghanistan. Several small and high-intensity blasts have killed thousands of innocent civilians in such attacks since 2002.

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