Karachi: 340 killed in 20 suicide bombings since 2000
KARACHI: At least 340 people have been killed and 1,004 others wounded in as many as 20 suicide attacks, including that of Thursday, in the financial hub of the country since the year 2000. There seems to be no let-up in ethno-sectarian violence and terror activities, as Thursday’s assault – third in a row – on senior police officials in Malir area took four more lives. After the United States imposed its so-called war on terror on Pakistan, there has been a radically alarming increase in terror activities in all parts of Karachi.
Carried out by a woman suicide bomber, the first suicide attack in Karachi in November 2000 targeted the office of this newspaper (The Nation), killing three people and wounding six others. In the worst terrorist attack in May last year, unidentified gunmen attacked the Pakistan Navy’s airbase – PNS Mehran – killing five people, besides completely destroying two P3C Orion aircraft. On May 8, 2002, a similar attack near one of the leading hotels in the city killed 17 people, among them 11 French engineers.
In June same year, the third suicide bombing in the city targeted the US Consulate General leaving 12 persons dead and 43 others fatally hurt. In 2004, militants twice targeted Shia worshippers, killing 58 people and injuring 140 others. A suicide attacker targeted Imambargah Hyderi, located near Sindh Madarsatul Islam, on May 6, 2004, while Imambargah Ali Raza came under attack on May 31, 2004.In the same month of 2005, yet another imambargah, Madinatul Ilm, was hit by a bomber, claiming three lives.
Thirty-six others were injured. Subsequently, a wave of sectarian violence engulfed the city, claiming the lives of seven workers of a leading international food chain. The US consulate came under another attack when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a consulate van, leaving three people dead, including the then chief of the Crime Investigation Authority, and 36 others hurt.
The worst blast of the country’s history shook the metropolis on March 11, 2006, when some 65 people, including dozens of religious leaders, lost their lives inside Nishtar Park during a religious congregation on 12th Rabi-ul –Awal. Although the attack claimed numerous lives of people, including top-notch religious scholars, investigators were uncertain that it was a suicide attack or an improvised explosive device.
In July 2006, a religious scholar and a leader of the Muttahida Majalis–e–Amal, Allama Hassan Turabi, was targeted along with his nephew near his residence in Gulshan–e–Iqbal. Two back-to-back suicide attacks hit former slain premier Benazir Bhutto’s caravan in Karsaz area. The twin bombings left 160 people dead and 500 others injured. The shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi came under a suicide attack on Oct 7, 2010, when some 11 persons were killed and 35 others injured. On January 8, 2010, seven terrorists, among them three suicide bombers, were killed in Baldia Town area, when a police party raided on their hideout to recover a NATO supplier, Shokat Afridi.
All three bombers present there detonated their suicide vests to escape arrest. On November 11 same year, the Crime Investigation Department building was hit by an explosive-laden vehicle, killing 18 people instantly. The 13th such attack hit the residence of SSP Chaudhry Aslam, claiming eight lives besides wounding eight others.24 accused arrested in separate raids: The Karachi Police in their drive against outlaws, arrested 24 accused from various areas of the city during last 24 hours. A statement on Friday said those arrested also included absconders and proclaimed offenders. Five police encounters also took place while four gangs of criminals were busted by the police during the period. As many as 12 pistols, a revolver, a dagger and a mobile phone were also recovered from the possession of the culprits. Police registered cases against them and started investigations.