5 Japanese nationals unhurt in suicide attack on vehicle in Karachi: police

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Police said on Friday that five Japanese nationals remained unhurt after their vehicle was targeted by a suicide bomber in Karachi’s Landhi area. Police also said that two terrorists involved in the attack were killed.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) East Azfar Mahesar told that the incident took place near Murtaza Chowrangi in Landhi, adding that the five foreign nationals were travelling in a Hiace van.

“All five Japanese remained safe. However, the private security guard with them was injured,” he said, adding that one terrorist was killed.

“The Japanese nationals were on the way to Export Processing Zone from their residence in Zamzama, Clifton,” he said.

Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) DIG Asif Aijaz Shaikh told that the Japanese nationals were travelling in a van along with two security guards when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle hit them.

“All five Japanese nationals are safe,” DIG Shaikh said. He further said that another “suicide bomber” who was there for “backup” was gunned down by a Sharafi Goth police party patrolling the area.

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

Speaking to the media at the scene, CTD in-charge Raja Umar Khattab said that 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 that the attacker’s accomplice “panicked” as the suicide attack did not achieve its objective and began open firing.

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

The CTD official reiterated that the foreign nationals were unhurt, adding that timely action by police and security guards had thwarted the attack.

The miscreants 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.

Police spokesperson Abrar Hussain Baloch said the Japanese have been moved to a safe place in police custody, according to Reuters.

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

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the incident and prayed for the recovery of the injured, according to a statement posted on X.

“Timely action by the police saved us from any major loss of life,” he said.

“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 Asif Ali Zardari also commended the police’s timely action against the terrorists. In a statement carried by Radio Pakistan, he said that timely action by police prevented major casualties.

He expressed the firm commitment to collectively wipe out terrorists.

Former foreign minister and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari strongly condemned the attack and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured, according to a statement on X by the party’s official account.

He expressed the hope that the perpetrators of the attack would be brought to justice. “Foreign nationals are our guests, and respecting and protecting guests is our national slogan,” he said.

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

Today’s incident comes less than a month after five Chinese nationals and one Pakistani were killed in a suicide bombing in Bisham, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to police, the bus was travelling from Islamabad to Kohistan when it came under the attack on Karakoram Highway.