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5 Japanese survive Pakistan suicide bomber and gunman attack, 2 bystanders killed

5 Japanese survive Pakistan suicide bomber and gunman attack, 2 bystanders killed
A police officer stands guard near a cordoned damaged vehicle after a suicide blast in Karachi, Pakistan on April 19, 2024.
PHOTO: Reuters

KARACHI — Five Japanese nationals in Pakistan escaped when a suicide bomber detonated their device on Friday (April 19), and police shot dead a gunman accompanying the bomber, officials said, adding that two bystanders died from injuries sustained in the incident.

No militant group has claimed responsibility for the rare attack on Japanese nationals in Karachi, with Pakistani authorities identifying them as engineers working for the management of an export-processing zone in the port city.

One of the two attackers, who followed the Japanese in their vehicle by motorbike, jumped off when the vehicle slowed down and set off explosives tied to his body but failed to strike his target, Pakistani counter-terrorism official Raja Umar Khatab told reporters.

His accomplice then began shooting at the vehicle.

"I think he fired some 15 or 16 shots," Khatab said, adding that private security guards with the foreigners and a nearby police patrol returned fire and killed the second attacker.

The attackers had followed the Japanese group's vehicle for some time, Khatab said, with authorities suspecting they carried out reconnaissance to identify their target and the location for the attack.

Islamist militants and separatist insurgent groups have been involved in other bloody attacks in the South Asian nation, with some of them targeting foreigners, mainly Chinese nationals.


The Japanese involved in Friday's incident have been moved to a safe place in police custody, police spokesperson Abrar Hussain Baloch said.

Baloch said two local bystanders and a guard were wounded in the incident. Pakistan's foreign office said later that the two locals had died of their injuries.

"The police mobile unit, which was nearby, responded to the attackers quickly and the security guards of the foreign guests responded immediately," Baloch said.

In Tokyo, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshimasa Hayashi, told a press conference one Japanese national was confirmed to have been injured.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the attack, praising the timely police action for saving lives.

ALSO READ: Pakistan police kill bomber, militant to thwart attack on Japanese nationals

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