Another attack on navy kills five


A bomb ripped through a bus in Karachi on Thursday, killing four naval personnel and a passing motorcyclist in the third attack on navy transport this week in the country’s biggest city.
More than a dozen people were wounded in the attack claimed by Taliban in the politically tense economic capital and southern port.
Two other navy buses were attacked on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the military just days after army’s chief General Ashfaq Kayani claimed his forces had “broken the back” of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.
“Now a total of four of our employees — all sailors — have been martyred in the attack on our bus while seven others are injured,” spokesman Commander Salman Ali told AFP. Four other navy personnel died on Tuesday.
The force of the blast tore through sign boards, a fuel station and cars parked along the road.
“I was trying to cross the road a few feet away from the bus when I heard an explosion and saw the bus was hit and people inside and around crying,” said Asghar Ali, a passer-by being treated for injuries in hospital.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the attack and called for an immediate investigation “so that further course of action can be taken”.
Provincial chief minister Qaim Ali Shah said that the blast appeared to be the work of the same group behind Tuesday’s bombings, which wounded nearly 60 people and were the worst attacks on military officials in Karachi in years.
Shah said that authorities had tried to change the navy’s transport routes after Tuesday’s attacks but refused to point the finger of blame at any particular organisation.
Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for Pakistan’s main Taliban faction, claimed responsibility for all the attacks on navy buses in Karachi.
“Whether it is the navy, army or air force, they are all our enemies. We want to make it clear to the military to prepare for similar attacks in the future,” he told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.
Authorities on Tuesday had blamed extremist groups linked to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, such as Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, which was involved in the Karachi kidnap and beheading of US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.