KARACHI: A suspected suicide explosion targeting President Asif Ali Zardari's chief security officer killed at least three people in Karachi on Wednesday, police said.

Eleven others were injured in the powerful explosion which rocked the busy New Town neighbourhood in the heart of Karachi, less than a kilometre from the Quaid's mausoleum.

“Three people, including the president’s chief security officer, Bilal Sheikh, were killed in the bombing,” said Superintendent Police Usman Bajwa.

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari said that "Bilal had rendered many sacrifices for the PPP and that he was not just a bodyguard but more like a son."

President Zardari also appealed to party workers to offer fateha for Bilal.

The president added that Bilal had accompanied Benazir Bhutto when she was attacked in Karachi on Oct 18, 2007.

Bilal Sheikh was an active worker of the Pakistan People’s Party, the ruling party in Sindh province.

A spokesman for the Bilawal House, President Zardari's private residence in Karachi, had earlier confirmed Sheikh’s death. Sheikh's driver was also killed in the explosion.

Bajwa said the attack appeared to be a suicide bombing. “Bilal Sheikh’s vehicle was the target of the attack,” he said.

Officials said the wounded included six police officers and one FIA personnel. The injured were shifted to a local hospital where a state of emergency was imposed.

Bilal Sheikh was said to be a trusted aide of President Asif Ali Zardari, had previously been in charge of Zardari's private residence in Karachi, and was also responsible for the security in Karachi of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the president’s son and PPP co-chairman.

Sheikh had also been in charge of security for Zardari's wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto when she returned to Karachi from exile on October 18, 2007, two months before her assassination.

The explosion came on the eve of the holy Muslim month of Ramazan, due to be observed in Pakistan from Thursday.

Bajwa said Sheikh and his driver had gone to buy food for Ramazan, the fasting month, when his vehicle was targeted. "He had never taken this route before, and he always had security with him," he said.

Sheikh had survived two previous attempts on his life.

No militant group has claimed responsibility of the attack as yet, but the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan have previously targeted the Pakistan People's Party for it's "secular views".

President Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif “strongly condemned” the attack, state media said.

In a statement, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also condemned the attack, blaming an "anti-democratic and extremist mindset" to be behind the bombing. "We will not be intimidated by such cowardly acts and such acts will not deter our resolve to fight terrorism," he said.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (29)

Waheed Uz Zaman Tariq
July 10, 2013 5:51 pm

If anyone feels that by killing innocent people in the holy month of Ramadan to gain a anybody' sympathy and may please ALLAH is seriously mistaken. The history tells us that no group can impose his point of view by terror. This kind f carnage may, how're, create a chaos and sufferings.

IBN-E-ASHFAQUE
July 10, 2013 5:59 pm

Karachi has been left to the wolves. The PPP government is good for nothing.

upkar gill
July 10, 2013 7:18 pm

@Waheed Uz Zaman Tariq: Does it make any sense if it was not the month of ramadan, killing anyone is a sin.

Jalaluddin S. Hussain
July 10, 2013 7:18 pm

@IBN-E-ASHFAQUE: But what is the solution?

Nikhil
July 10, 2013 8:03 pm

@Waheed Uz Zaman Tariq: M agree

ahmed jawad
July 10, 2013 8:29 pm

so this is our security. seems like security persons needs another security team for rescue.

Akbar Qazi
July 10, 2013 8:27 pm

Awsome

TKhan
July 10, 2013 8:51 pm

"Sheikh had also been in charge of security for Zardari's wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto when she returned to Karachi from exile on October 18, 2007, two months before her assassination."

Anyone else smell the same stench as I do? Quite him before he rat out?

AM
July 10, 2013 8:52 pm

"Religion of peace" at work - killing ones own in the name of God!

Rahul
July 10, 2013 9:02 pm

@Waheed Uz Zaman Tariq: My dear friend, a criminal/murderer mustn't get any sympathy under any scenarios. The sole reason we have this mess every where because we let these criminals use our religion. I am totally clueless what point you are trying to make when you say "not in holy month of Ramadan" !. These things should never happen!

T Khan
July 10, 2013 9:10 pm

For sure the suicide bomber is burning in hell right now along with the rest of animals who kill innocent women, men and children in the name of Allah.

Ahmad N
July 10, 2013 9:32 pm

No regard for human life, no respect for holy month of Ramazan - Who are these people that our intelligence agencies can't track ? Karachi is an on going blood bath, we all witness it as helpless bystanders.

amjad wyne
July 10, 2013 9:42 pm

@Waheed Uz Zaman Tariq: This is not being done to please Allah - everyone knows that. Its beneficiaries include politicians and criminal gangs.

Haider
July 10, 2013 9:50 pm

IBN-E-ASSHFAQUE Saheb I like to up date you for the current events that PPP is not the current governing party.

Tansar
July 10, 2013 10:06 pm

@Waheed Uz Zaman Tariq: I cannot beleive there are 6 of them who unliked it.

Mohammad Bajwa
July 10, 2013 10:32 pm

This shows that militants have a wide network and can track anyone. How did they know that Bilal Shiekh was coming to a particular fruit vendor to buy mangoes.

It is a real life case of exploding mangoes !

Morad786
July 10, 2013 11:21 pm

This type of act should be condemned by all political parties and the center right parties (PMLN, Religious, PTI etc) all need to stand on the side of humanity and Pakistan; and break their silence!

patriots234@live.com
July 10, 2013 11:55 pm

DIRTY POLITICS!!

Doubtful
July 11, 2013 12:15 am

What if Bilal Sheikh was silenced because he might have known something about Benazir's assassination? Maybe someone was approaching him or his actions could've made him a danger to the people behind the assassination. That's my two cents.

karamba
July 11, 2013 1:05 am

How ironic- those that are there to protect cant protect themselves. Where can the PPP hide from the seeds that it has sown and how did it think that it would be immune to its consequences.

rana1
July 11, 2013 1:46 am

@Waheed Uz Zaman Tariq: well it shows that the perpetrators are not muslim. One is not a muslim if he or she harms the other in any way whether violently or even backbiting(slander,gossip e.t.c)

SWASIMHAIDER
July 11, 2013 2:37 am

Shocking

Syed Ahmed
July 11, 2013 3:35 am

@IBN-E-ASHFAQUE: Sad indeed. One never knows, when a person becomes much too big for his boots, he is often eliminated. Same could have happened to Khalid Shanshah.

Indusonian
July 11, 2013 3:56 am

Who is running Pakistan ?

ailly
July 11, 2013 6:33 am

unlucky just missed the right person ...

S. A. M.
July 11, 2013 9:29 am

A Disgruntled Lyarite!

SK
July 11, 2013 9:44 am

If TTP is involved it closes more doors for negotiated truce. In fact all terror groups based on extreme ideologies must be routed out in Srilankan style war footing. Unless this happens Pakistan will not see a day of peace. I do not see any negotiated settlement working with these terror groups. It's about time arrested terrorist be dealt with iron hand, the courts have to be unforgiving on terror, prosceuters need to ensure that the accused are proven guilty on prima facie by collating unchallengeable evidences. The terror cases should be dispensed with in a month by courts. Terrorism laws must change to allow death by hanging with no rights of appeal . The execution must be swift and exemplry. Unless there vital changes are introduce. The terror would keep consuming innocent lives.

anjum siddiqui
July 11, 2013 10:05 am

What did the PPP do in its 5 years of loot and mismanagement that Bilawal is claiming that they will fight terrorrism? He is talking utter nonsense as usual.

p r shaarma
July 12, 2013 4:43 pm

@rana1: - What an easy route to declare the culprit as non Muslim., then Mr. rana1 the definition of a Muslim should have been mentioned. too. By the definition as mentioned in the holy book more than 50% of the Pakistani will stand as Non Muslim. Solicit your opinion. Escaping never solves a problem..

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