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Karachi suicide attack on CID chief’s home kills 8
Chaudhry Aslam is on the hit list of militants, authorities say
By Javed Mahmood
KARACHI – Eight people were killed and several were injured in a suicide attack on the residence of the chief of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Sindh Police September 19, police officials said.
A double cab truck loaded with more than 300kg of explosive materials hit the home of Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam, chief of CID in Karachi, at about 7.30am, instantly killing four policemen and four civilians, additional inspector general of police Saud Mirza told reporters.
Aslam was on the terrorists’ hit list and the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, Mirza said.
He said police had information of a possible terrorist attack in Karachi on September 19, but militants evaded security personnel and targeted Aslam’s home. A high alert had been declared in the city to prevent further terrorist attacks, he added.
Aslam was unhurt, though the attack destroyed much of his house in the Defence area of Karachi.
Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan has said law enforcement agencies would continue to track down the terrorists.
Wassan said Aslam had arrested scores of Taliban in Karachi and foiled many attempted terrorist attacks in the city.
The government has enhanced the security of the senior police officials, especially those working against the Taliban, Wassan said.
The suicide attack also damaged adjoining buildings and created a panic in the city, he said.
The Defence areas are considered the safest locations in the city, former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Rashid A. Rizvi told Central Asia Online.
“The attack on the residence of the CID chief in Defence seems a big question on security arrangements for very important persons in the city,” he said.
After a recent attack on the residence of the Director General of the Frontier Constabulary in Quetta in August 2011, security agencies should have made foolproof arrangements to protect Aslam and his family, he said.
As the role of the CID chief is very important in taking action against the Taliban, terrorists could target him and his family again, Rizvi added.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying Aslam had arrested and killed many of its fighters.
President Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the attack. “Such cowardly actions of the extremist elements cannot deter the determination of the government against the militancy and terrorism,” he said.
The attack is the second and worst attempt on the life of the CID head in Karachi, he said.
In 2010 the terrorists blew up the head office of the CID in Karachi in an attempt to eliminate Aslam and other senior officials. Aslam and other senior officials were not in the building at the time.
Aslam vows to carry on his mission against Taliban
Aslam vowed to carry on his mission of eliminating the Taliban from Karachi. He told reporters soon after blast that the attack on his home was a cowardly act by the terrorists.
“If the Taliban have (any) courage, they should target me, and not my family,” he said.
He also said that he has received death threats from the TTP.
The CID will step up its efforts to discourage terrorist activities of the TTP in Karachi, Aslam said.
64 officers killed in terrorist attacks in 2011
Wassan told reporters that 64 police officers have been killed in various terrorist attacks in Karachi in 2011. He said the family of each deceased officer would get US $22,000 (Rs. 2m) as compensation from the provincial government.
Wassan said the suicide attack on the residence of the CID chief was an attempt to sabotage the government’s operation against the targeted killers, extortionists, land grabbers and other criminals.
He said the success of the ongoing operation had deterred the Taliban and they feared that if the government succeeded in curbing targeted killings, the Taliban would next be targeted by the operation.
Yasir Rehman contributed to this report.