KARACHI: Bomb attacks hit two buses carrying Pakistani navy officials in Karachi Tuesday, killing four people in the latest sign of rampant insecurity in a nation key to US hopes of beating the Taliban.
Nearly 60 people were wounded when remote-controlled bombs exploded beside the buses at rush hour in different parts of Pakistan's politically tense economic capital.
Officials said four people were killed in the attacks and the navy, which is based largely in Karachi, identified them all as its employees.
“The four dead were navy officials including a lady doctor, a sub lieutenant, a sailor and a civilian employee,” navy spokesman Commander Salman Ali told AFP.
“Fifty-seven people were injured in the two attacks and of them, 50 were navy officials,” he added.
Provincial government official Sharfuddin Memon told AFP that the first bomb was planted on a motorbike parked in the upmarket Defence Housing Scheme and the second hidden in rubbish in the impoverished Baldia town neighbourhood.
Intelligence officials said that the bombs were triggered by remote control near buses carrying naval personnel.
“We suspect the signature of terrorist organisations like Jundallah or Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,” Memon told AFP.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the attack, saying it “cannot deter the resolve of the nation and our armed forces to curb the menace of militancy and extremism”.
Television footage of the scene showed navy passenger buses with smashed-out windows and the remains of a destroyed motorcycle, as security officials collected the debris and marshalled the rescue effort.
“It appears to be part of the same militant campaign but I don't see any logic in targeting the navy because unlike army and air force they are not involved in any operations against the militants,” said Tasneem Noorani, a security analyst and former interior secretary.
“They may have targeted navy out of desperation because the other forces (air force and army) may have become very careful and are difficult to attack.”