Five Japanese nationals escape Pakistan suicide blast attack


A police officer stands guard near a cordoned damaged vehicle after a suicide blast in Karachi, Pakistan April 19, 2024. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

KARACHI, April 19: Five Japanese nationals survived a suicide bomb attack on their vehicle on Friday, as police in Pakistan's city of Karachi shot down a gunman accompanying the bomber, a police spokesperson said, but two passers-by were injured.

Islamist militants seeking to overthrow the government and set up their own strict brand of Islamic rule have launched some of Pakistan's bloodiest attacks during the last few years, with some separatist groups targeting foreigners, including Chinese.

The Japanese were unhurt and have been moved to a safe place in police custody, the spokesperson, Abrar Hussain Baloch, said, although the two passers-by and a guard accompanying the visitors suffered injuries.

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

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the attack and said the timely action of the police was crucial in saving lives.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack from any militant group.

The identities of the Japanese nationals were not immediately clear.

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