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Pakistan

Five Japanese escape unhurt in Karachi suicide blast attack

Published April 19, 2024
Police officers survey the site after a suicide blast in Karachi, Pakistan April 19, 2024. Photo: Reuters
Police officers survey the site after a suicide blast in Karachi, Pakistan April 19, 2024. Photo: Reuters

KARACHI: Five Japanese nationals in Pakistan escaped unhurt on Friday from a suicide bomb attack on their vehicle as police shot down a gunman accompanying the bomber, a police spokesperson said, but two bystanders were among the three injured.

No immediately claimed responsibility for the rare attack on Japanese nationals, however, with Pakistani authorities identifying them as engineers working for the management of an export processing zone in the port city.

The Japanese have been moved to a safe place in police custody, the spokesperson, Abrar Hussain Baloch, said, although the bystanders and a guard with the visitors suffered injuries.

“The police mobile unit, which was nearby, responded to the attackers quickly and the security guards of the foreign guests responded immediately,” Baloch added.

In Tokyo, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshimasa Hayashi, told a press conference that one Japanese national was confirmed to have been injured and the government was checking details, having flagged the risk to other citizens in Pakistan.

One of the two motorcycle-borne attackers set off explosives tied to his body as soon as the vehicle slowed, Pakistani counter-terrorism official Raja Umar Khatab told reporters, but failed to strike his target.

Seven terrorists killed as security forces foil infiltration bid from Afghanistan

That prompted his accomplice to start shooting at the vehicle.

“I think he fired some 15 or 16 shots,” Khatab said, adding that private security guards with the foreigners and a nearby police patrol returned fire and killed the second attacker.

The men had followed the Japanese group’s vehicle for some time before the attack, he said, with authorities suspecting they carried out reconnaissance to identify the target and location of the attack.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the attack, praising the timely police action for saving lives.

Comments

200 characters
Aamir Apr 19, 2024 01:45pm
Who will now come and invest here? First Chinese and now Japanese have been targeted. Where are our agencies? Law enforcers?
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply
KU Apr 19, 2024 07:43pm
Someone has taken Japan's WTO threat seriously. Comeon guys, boycott is ok but this is extreme.
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply
A. Chak Apr 19, 2024 09:12pm
I think they mistook the Japanese to be Chinese.
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply