Terror strikes Karachi: Twin attacks on Navy buses

Published: April 27, 2011

ecurity officials examine a bus carrying Pakistani Navy officials after it was damaged by a bomb in Karachi. PHOTO: REUTERS Rangers arrive at the scene after a bus carrying Pakistan Navy officials was hit by a bomb in Karachi. PHOTO: REUTERS Target of the explosion was a navy bus carrying officials in Defence Phase II. PHOTO: SHAHERYAR MIRZA/EXPRESS Screenshot shows damage done to another car in the Defence Phase II area of Karachi.

At least four people were killed and 56 others injured in two separate bomb attacks on Pakistan Navy buses early Tuesday morning.

The first attack took place in Defence Phase II around 7:30am when a navy bus carrying 50 personnel left the Basralane Colony, a residential area that houses mid-level navy officers. The bus had barely travelled 100 yards when a bomb planted on a motorcycle parked along the way went off.

Two navy personnel including Sub Lieutenant Iqbal and lady doctor Shazia died in the blast, while 37 others were injured, said Pakistan Navy spokesman Commander Salman Ali.

The second bus carrying 35 naval personnel was hit by a roadside bomb on Northern Bypass, near Baldia Town around 7:45 am. At least two navy men, including Pakistan Navy sailor Umar Farooq and a civilian employee Muhammad Sharif, were killed and 19 others were injured.

The authorities were able to recover and defuse another bomb, weighing around 10 kilogrammes, planted close to where the second blast happened.

The bus, bearing registration number JP-1270, was heading to Baldia Town Naval Unit after picking up naval personnel.

The injured and deceased from the Defence blast were rushed to the Pakisan Navy’s Shifa hospital. Sources say three officers, including one lieutenant and two lieutenant commanders, are in critical condition at the hospital.

Meanwhile, locals helped authorities shift the injured in their private vehicles to a nearby hospital from the Baldia blast site.

Both the blast sites were cordoned off by the security forces for securing evidence.

According to the spokesperson, senior Pakistan Navy officials visited PN Shifa hospital. A probe into the two incidents has also been ordered by the Naval Headquarters.

Remotely detonated

SSP Special Investigation Unit Raja Umer Khattab, who was on location at the Defence blast, said both the bombs were planted and detonated remotely.

Official sources in the Navy say the detonator used in the Defence blast was made locally while the one used in the Baldia blast was American made.

“One bomb was attached to a motorcycle parked on the route of the navy bus in Defence Phase II while the other two bombs were planted under concrete blocks in Baldia Town,” Khattab said. One of the bombs in Baldia was recovered intact and successfully defused. He said that no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far.

Investigators say that the extremely well planned blasts had been set off by someone who was near the blast site.

Both attacks appear to be conducted by the same group, said Capital City Police Officer, Karachi Saud Mirza while talking to The Express Tribune.

“Initial examination suggests that the bomb used in the Baldia blast weighed around two-and-a-half kilogrammes and was locally produced. Both blasts were remote controlled and might be connected with mobile devices,” he said.

Mirza said the bombs used in the two attacks were similar to those used in the Ashura and Chehlum processions two years back.

“It might be that the group behind the Ashura and Chehlum procession attacks is also involved in these twin blasts,” he said, adding it would premature to assert anything, given the investigation was underway.”


Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, accompanied by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh Fayyaz Leghari, also visited the blast sites and said: “We had already received threats about such terror activities and the government was taking serious measures to pre-empt them.”

Official sources in the navy also say intelligence agencies had issued an alert on April 24 that the Pakistan navy, army or air force personnel may come under attack in Karachi and advised them to take strict precautionary measures.

The navy spokesperson Commander Salman Ali, however, denied receiving such information.

“I do not know about the threats of terrorist activity. The provincial government claimed that they already received threats [but] they did not share the information with us,” he said.

He said they frequently receive threats but such attacks are difficult to avoid.

The naval security guards were also on the bus with arms and ammunition but they could do little in a sudden attack, he added.

The assaults took place despite stringent security measures being in place. Both buses, for instance, were carrying private number plates due to security concerns but the attackers appear to have prior information about the movement of the buses.

However, sources said the Baldia blast occurred due to a glaring security lapse. The routes of vehicles are checked every two days but the concrete blocks, under which the bombs were planted, were placed on the route two days ago and had not been removed by the authorities.

IGP Leghari said the investigators will take at least two to three days to compile the initial report, adding that two separate investigation teams have been formed to probe each site of the attack separately.

Meanwhile, the police arrested the owner of the motorcycle that was used in the attack in Defence.

Kamran Qureshi, resident of Nazimabad, said he had informally sold his motorcycle six years ago, even though it was still registered in his name. He is expected to be freed though.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (43)

  • KR
    Apr 26, 2011 - 8:14AM

    Where is Rehman Malik when you need him, he is suppose to keep us all safe. Recommend

  • wahab
    Apr 26, 2011 - 8:27AM

    enough is enough..we demand a military operation in khi..give khi under military control and throw these terrorists out..shoot to killRecommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Apr 26, 2011 - 8:51AM

    @Wahab, why only Karachi, military operation is needed in whole country, from Khyber to Karachi. Anyone involved in terrorism should be hanged, including all those who support them.Recommend

  • Amin Karachi
    Apr 26, 2011 - 8:55AM

    Bring back Zulfiqar Mirza,he was much better interior minister.It is 3rd blast after his resignation during one month. Recommend

  • Viqar ul Haq
    Apr 26, 2011 - 9:01AM

    The government has to show its mettle. The terrorists are going beyond limits. I wonder what our whole police, intelligence and administration doing. Why call the Army? The solution is political. Talk to them, be honest, give them what they want, and follow up with your promises. The terrorists are Muslims, humans, Pakistanis but they have an agenda. Try to resolve what the government is holding back. Rehman Malik or Altaf Hussain, Qaim or Shahi, whoever is behind all this scare must be uprooted and a permanent solution be worked out. We have had enough of it. Our drones are creating scare in the settled areas while US drones are scaring the tribal people. Its a dog after its tail. Come on, someone. Imran, Pervez, Bilawal, Hussain, Marvi, who ever you are, come forward and show what u can do, or next do not seek elections. We can find better people who can salvage thjs land of the pure.Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Apr 26, 2011 - 9:08AM

    Kayyani Sahib, you need to cut their head too, breaking the back is not enough..Recommend

  • Waqas
    Apr 26, 2011 - 9:16AM

    u r saying where is Rehman Malik he can only pass slogans but cant do any thing military is our power and military operation is a best option to wipe these terrorist .Our government can only see it can not do anything idleRecommend

  • fahim
    Apr 26, 2011 - 9:27AM

    err…. sir… “land of pure” ??? exactly what r u referring here?Recommend

  • ARF
    Apr 26, 2011 - 9:29AM

    we are not a country made for democracy – danda rule is what works out here. Start catching people for small crimes and punish them in public – only then will people learn. Shameful state of affairs this country is in.Recommend

  • Hassan
    Apr 26, 2011 - 9:30AM

    Really, this was to happen sooner or later when you don’t solve the confrontations. These people cant be killed as they will always come back no matter how much you lynch them. One main core problem needs to be identified. To find the root cause! At least try to find what that these people want…Recommend

  • Maria
    Apr 26, 2011 - 9:36AM

    @Nadeem Ahmed: The local government in Karachi has to allow the center to send in the Rangers and army. They will sort out the anti state criminals in under a month as was stated.Recommend

  • Apr 26, 2011 - 9:39AM

    Sarkozy & French Connecction?Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Apr 26, 2011 - 9:45AM

    Terrorists have made Karachiites hostage. No one seems to be safe. If a person goes to his office safely and comes back in one piece he or she should think that he is the luckiest person on earth.

    Terrorists should be dealt with iron hand. It is due to less patrolling and weak intelligence gathering due to which terrorists make their way.

    Chief Minister should induct more people in the police so that police personnel should be doubled as the population is growing rapidly.

    Such incidents proves that how weak is our administration where innocent people are killed every day on one pretext or the other. Recommend

  • Mirza
    Apr 26, 2011 - 9:48AM

    The simple solution is to disarm all citizens of Karachi. However, the gangs who have all the weapons and power, would resist this and make all kinds of excuses. In no city of Pakistan this kind of political and target killings are taking place. The only people who would oppose disarming of “all” citizens are the killers and their supporters. It is a matter of principle that every citizen be disarmed and the city de-weaponized.

    Mirza, USaRecommend

  • Muslim Rajput.
    Apr 26, 2011 - 10:31AM

    @Nadeem Ahmed:
    dearest there is no system whereby each & every citizen and miscreants are controlled. May ALLAH SWT helps us all and ease upon us these tough times, Aameen!Recommend

    Apr 26, 2011 - 11:01AM

    shame on u government of pakistan is this ur democracy????? think somethingRecommend

    Apr 26, 2011 - 11:04AM

    the enymies hav got into our posts killing our armed forces is this justice????Recommend

  • javed
    Apr 26, 2011 - 11:12AM

    Karachi needs a military operation.. Army have to take action,,, because politicians totally said lies… they are busy to reopen the case of bhutto.. they are not interested to give the safety to out nation..nation wants safety not the result of bhutto case..Recommend

  • Salman Orangiwala
    Apr 26, 2011 - 11:33AM

    People yelling for army intervention ? What a joke .!!!!
    The army is at the receiving end from the terrorists , who is going to save the army ?

    If they cannot save themselves , it is highly unlikely they could save the AWAM of Karachi .Recommend

    Apr 26, 2011 - 11:59AM

    The army has to get rid of all terrorists outfits and not some selective groups throughout Pakistan since none of them will serve the interest of the country. Recommend

  • TightDhoti
    Apr 26, 2011 - 12:12PM

    The terrorists back is brokenRecommend

  • Ashraf R
    Apr 26, 2011 - 12:38PM

    @Maria: “They will sort out the anti state criminals in under a month…”
    Yeah right. Like they did in the rest of Pakistan? Wake up and smell the coffee.Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Apr 26, 2011 - 12:54PM

    @Viqar ul Haq: You are living in a fool’s paradise. You do not talk to animals; you can not negotiate with these maniacs because they do not understand logic or have nay sense. They are criminals and not patriots. You can never negotiate from the point of weakness.

    People who say that we need to talk to these animals are crazy like Imran Khan. You never negotiate from the point of weakness, yes you talk when you have these people on the run, because the only thing they understand is violence and you can’t reason with such people.

    We should get the drones & pay back in their own coin. Bomb them along with their families to hell. Recommend

  • Aamir
    Apr 26, 2011 - 1:14PM

    Its time for Army to take over again. Enough is enough.Recommend

  • The MegaStar
    Apr 26, 2011 - 1:41PM

    ALLAH PLEASE SAVE PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN , Afterall they are my friends and neighboursRecommend

  • Anil
    Apr 26, 2011 - 2:45PM

    Just like this Newspaper you have tendency to quote stories out of there context, Gen Kayani was addressing Cadets at there graduation , This message was not for the nation. Secondly even if the back is broken that doesn’t mean these things would not happen. All of these remote control devices are a tactic used by another organization of a very friendly country.Recommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Apr 26, 2011 - 2:49PM

    And only a week back we were told Terrorists back bone has been broken!!!!!Recommend

  • san
    Apr 26, 2011 - 3:05PM

    ANP and MQM should be kicked out from Karachi..otherwise there will be endless bloodshed…the only solution to problem.Recommend

  • Apr 26, 2011 - 3:08PM

    God bless them all, its a planning of americans to start operation in baluchistan soon they will link these attacks from baloch mujahideen and will start there game in balochistan.
    any how these were gernade attacks which were thrown to both the buses just for harasment in city.Recommend

  • Imran
    Apr 26, 2011 - 4:43PM

    ISI must disown terrorists now!Recommend

  • Someone
    Apr 26, 2011 - 5:01PM

    At exactly 7:15 am as I lay in bed lazing to get up I heard a powerful blast which sounded as if it had happened in my own garage. I bolted out to see my mother who had literally been shook up where she stood.

    My brother headed to work a few minutes later enquiring from our security guard enroute who pointed out there had been a blast nearby.

    Moments later we knew it had happened on our own street! Terror had struck close to home and so close.Recommend

  • Musthaq Ahmed
    Apr 26, 2011 - 7:30PM

    Sir , You have better recollection than the rest. Then it was military which let French technicians be killed by religious extremist organisations and now it is some disgruntled western/ French company against current collaboration which used a similar weapon. It is Sarkozys turn to feel the jolt.Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Apr 26, 2011 - 7:34PM

    As you sow so shall you reap !Recommend

  • Apr 26, 2011 - 10:10PM

    British strategy of psuedo-movements to discredit legitimate opposition created by soldier Frank Kitson explains why Tehreek-e-Taliban takes responsibility of everything and help discredit actual Taliban. Media further reinforces with choice of words blurring distinction between TTP and Taliban. One can read the book of Frank “Low Intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency and Peacekeeping” (1971) to learn more about false flag operations in our region. Releasing Davis was a big mistake.Recommend

  • Apr 26, 2011 - 10:34PM

    A vampire cannot enter your home unless invited.
    Who invited the Talibani vampires?Recommend

  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi
    Apr 26, 2011 - 10:53PM

    These bombs are a good way of telling the military people to respect the country. Right now its the Taliban you are fighting and if the situation and corruption doesnt change fast then all military men would be hunted by 184 mn people.Recommend

  • boiling blood
    Apr 27, 2011 - 12:04AM

    @Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi:
    aituation and corruption why m i getting the impression that a corrupt army is above angel buerucrats and politicians and patriotic leaders?????Recommend

  • MS- Mariya
    Apr 27, 2011 - 1:09AM

    Yes you are right! For all the indians who spew hate about pakistan..what goes around comes around. Amazing how you guys have the audacity to come here and talk as if you have no blood on hand.


    I can post hundred rape cases of foreigners in goa where no justice was provided. So go mind your own business before its too late. Sectarian killing, rape, maoist rebels are just few examples of troubles ahead for you guys.

    Shameless indiansRecommend

  • GK
    Apr 27, 2011 - 1:50AM

    Interesting. Not one Indian has posted in this thread. What I find more amazing is not one of the comments has blamed India. Recommend

  • MilesToGo
    Apr 27, 2011 - 2:34AM

    Get LeT too…Recommend

  • Aristo
    Apr 27, 2011 - 11:37AM

    “Navy denies being forewa­rned” what load of BS is this. Pak Navy has its own intelligence unit, how are they supposed to protect the Pakistan coastline then??????. It is absolutely absurd, Navy people have their representation in ISI as well. Today traffic was blocked on Karsaz road as the over smart Navy officials were beating the tracks after the snake had passed through. Why are all the forces in Pakistan reactive and not Pro-active.

    Shame on all the armed forces of Pakistan for nurturing the snakes who have come back to bite the hand that fed them for so long.Recommend

  • Truthseekar
    Apr 27, 2011 - 1:37PM

    @MS- Mariya:
    My dear Sister Mariya just have look on it ……


  • Ashutosh
    Apr 28, 2011 - 1:23PM

    @MS- Mariya:

    @Truthseekar: Many thanks !

    You probably had wondered away from the point of “state support to terrorism and its consiquences”.

    The miscriants behind the Orissa incedent, were captured, tried and punished. Some of them with death panalities as well.

    The other incedences you are pointing are problem of law and order and in most cases the culprites are behind bars already.

    In Goa, there was one case in which a foreigner was involved and remains unsolved. If you claim that there are 100s then I will disagree. To be honest, you can not count 10 unresolved cases in last 10 years. I hate to challenge, but I am game if you take it !

    I request you to focus on the topic. What i said what that Pakistan had activelly support nemerious terrorists and terror acts in India, Afghanistan and around the globe and still indulges in the same. These terror attack are nothing but …. the logical consiquences of what Pakistan is doing …Recommend

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