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Japanese escape suicide bombing in Pakistan

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Karachi, April 19: Five Japanese nationals working for Suzuki Motors had a lucky escape when their van was targeted by a suicide bomber and a gunman in a suicide attack here in Pakistan’s port city on Friday, police said, in the latest terrorist attack on foreign nationals in the country.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) East Azfar Mahesar said the terrorists, who were already waiting for the van on the road near Murtaza Chorangi in Landhi, attempted to hit the vehicle carrying Japanese nationals working with Pakistan Suzuki Motors.
“All five Japanese remained safe,” he said of the attack which took place at an upscale community in Karachi early morning.
“The Japanese nationals were on the way to the Export Processing Zone from their residence in Zamzama, Clifton,” he said.
Jinnah Hospital officials said three people were brought to the facility in critical conditions.
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.
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. (PTI)

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