KARACHI: A powerful explosion targeted a convoy of police vehicles in Karachi on Thursday killing senior police official Chaudhry Aslam Khan.
Chaudhry Aslam, who had survived numerous assassination attempts in the past, died along with two other officers when the bomb targeted the convoy on the Lyari expressway in Karachi.
Senior police officer Iqbal Mehmood confirmed to reporters that SP CID Chaudhary Aslam Khan died in the attack, which took place around 4:40 pm near the Essa Nagri area.
A suicide bomber smashed his vehicle into Aslam's convoy and he and two other policemen were killed, Iqbal Mehmood, a senior officer with the criminal investigation department, told news agency AFP.
The blast was so powerful that it threw the shattered wreckage of Aslam's vehicle some 20 metres from where it was hit.
The Mohmand agency chapter of the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Sajjad Mohmand, a spokesman for the militant group said Aslam was targeted for carrying out operations against the TTP. “Aslam was involved in killing Taliban prisoners in CID cells in Karachi and was on the top of our hit-list,” he said.
Television channels showed that the powerful blast completely destroyed the bullet-proof car of the slain police officer.
This was not the first time that the Aslam was targeted by the banned group. The slain officer was targeted at least three times earlier for his bold stance against Taliban militants.
Aslam had been receiving threats from the Pakistani Taliban, which tried to kill him in September 2011 in a huge explosion that tore off the front of his house in the port city.
After that attack he made a defiant appearance before the media, saying: “I will give my life but I won't bow to terrorists.”
Earlier on Thursday, Aslam had claimed the killing of three suspected members of the Pakistani Taliban in an encounter in the city.
Police are currently involved in an operation aimed at clearing Karachi of militants and hardcore criminals including hired killers, gun runners and drug peddlers.
Tributes, condemnations and condolence messages started pouring in from several high-profile politicians and officials on the assassination of the senior officer.
“Chaudhry Aslam was a brave officer,” said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “We will not let the will of the nation be crushed by these cowardly acts by terrorists.”