Pakistani Taliban claim suicide attack on Karachi barracks

Three Pakistani soldiers were killed and 20 more injured when a suicide bomber drove an explosive-packed truck into a paramilitary compound.

Fareed Khan/AP
Pakistani paramilitary troops stand near the site of an explosion in Karachi, Pakistan, on Thursday. A suicide bomber smashed a truck packed with explosives into housing for a paramilitary force protecting Pakistan’s largest city, killing at least three in the explosion Thursday morning that sent a large plume of smoke into the sky, officials said.

A Taliban suicide bomber rammed a truck packed with explosives into a compound housing a paramilitary force in Pakistan's largest city on Thursday, killing three officers and wounding 20.

The attack underlined the deteriorating security in Karachi, the sprawling port city of 18 million people that is the nation's economic hub. Violence has escalated in recent years in the city as armed groups fight for control of land and resources, and militant groups like the Taliban have used the chaos to consolidate their foothold.

Thursday's attack targeted a housing compound for the Rangers, a paramilitary force that is tasked with helping Karachi police maintain security in the city, said Javed Odho, deputy inspector general of the Karachi police.

Three security personnel were killed and 20 were wounded in the explosion, said a spokesman for the Rangers, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. He said the blast would not deter the force from pursuing operations against militants in the city.

Witnesses reported seeing a large plume of smoke rise into the sky from the residential block. Pakistani television showed images of the blast site, what appeared to be an apartment block with a gaping hole in the middle. A part of the two-story building was razed.

The Rangers set up a perimeter around the building to keep journalists and bystanders at bay.

One of the Rangers, Muhammed Farooq, said he was preparing for work when he looked out the window and saw a vehicle smash through the main gate and into the building.

"Then there was a really big bang and I lost my balance and I saw a lot of smoke and then I lost consciousness," he said, speaking from the hospital.

Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan said the group claimed responsibility for the attack.

"We punished the Rangers as they are working against us and they are doing nothing to serve Islam," Mr. Ahsan told The Associated Press over the telephone from an undisclosed location.

Taliban militants are known to operate inside the city and have targeted security officials and buildings in the past.

Half a dozen Taliban militants attacked a major naval base in Karachi in May 2011, killing at least 10 people and destroying two US-supplied surveillance aircraft. In September 2011, a Taliban suicide bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives outside the home of a senior police officer tasked with cracking down on militants in Karachi. At least eight people died, although the officer survived.

Karachi is the capital of Sindh province in southern Pakistan. It lies on the Arabian Sea and is the country's wealthiest city, though beset by escalating violence.

Armed groups backed by political parties are believed to be behind much of the city's violence, such as targeted killings, kidnappings and extortion. The chaos has allowed militants such as the Taliban, who have long had a presence in the city, to strengthen their footprint there.

The Pakistani Supreme Court last week held hearings examining the violence, which some worry threatens Karachi's stability.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Pakistani Taliban claim suicide attack on Karachi barracks
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today