In a shocking assault, gunmen in police uniforms stormed into a bus carrying people of Shia Ismaili community and shot the passengers in the Pakistani city of Karachi on Wednesday. At least 47 people have died while another 20 were severely injured. Most of the passengers were shot in the head, according to reports.
Jundullah takes responsibility for the attack
It was latest in a series of terror attacks targeting minorities. Sindh Police Inspector General Ghulam Haider Jamali told reporters that it was a targeted and pre-planned attack. Police officials said six to eight gunmen on motorcycles stopped the bus near Dow Medical College in Karachi. They entered the bus after it stopped at Safoora Chorangi, Gulistan-e-Johar area.
Officials said the death toll could increase as many people were severely injured. The dead and injured were shifted to various hospitals in the port city of Karachi by rescue workers. More than 60 people were on board the bus, which was on its way to a Shia Ismaili place of worship. While Sunni militant groups and the Taliban have targeted Shias in recent years, the Ismaili community has mostly been spared. According to BBC News, it is one of the biggest attacks on the Ismaili community, which is often described as peaceful, progressive and educated.
Jundullah, a splinter group of Pakistani Taliban, claimed the responsibility for the attack. A Jundullah spokesman said they considered Ismaili community “kafir” or non-Muslim. The terrorist group threatened more attacks against Christians, Ismailis and Shias. A pamphlet of the dreaded terrorist group Islamic State was also recovered from the scene.
PM Sharif condemns Karachi attack
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the Karachi attack and ordered an investigation. Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah has announced 500,000 Pakistani rupees for the families of the deceased, and 200,000 rupees for the injured. Shah said that all the medical treatment will be provided to the injured free of cost.
#COAS cancels his pre scheduled 3 days visit to Sri Lanka due to Kci terrorist Bus attack
— Gen Asim Bajwa (@AsimBajwaISPR) May 13, 2015
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif reached Karachi to assess the situation following the brutal attack. General Sharif was briefed by DG Rangers and the Corps Commander about the attack. The COAS canceled his pre-scheduled visit to Sri Lanka following the attack.