Gunmen kill four paramilitary soldiers in Pakistan’s Karachi
Heavily armed assailants have gunned down four paramilitary soldiers in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi, security sources say.
According to reports, two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire at a group of paramilitary forces guarding a mosque in Karachi’s Baldia Ittehad Town on Friday.
Local Pakistani security officials have confirmed that at least three of the paramilitary soldiers were killed on the spot while the fourth died in hospital.
Maj. Gen. Bilal Akbar, the director-general of paramilitary forces known as Rangers in southern Pakistan, said that the attackers likely sought to target the mosque or a nearby seminary.
“The attackers wanted to attack the Mosque during the Friday prayers but on seeing Rangers security, resorted to firing at the personnel,” Akbar said.
Karachi, the capital of Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, is home to numerous ethnic groups and has been hit by clashes between rival ethnic and political factions in the past two and half decades.
Pakistani security forces have been engaged a massive anti-militant and crime operations in Karachi and come under attack by militants frequently. The Pakistani paramilitary troops have launched a crackdown on al-Qaeda militants in Karachi since September 2013. The attacks are usually blamed on militants linked to the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan and also to al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.
Pakistan’s army intensified its military operations after pro-Taliban elements killed over 150 people, most of them children, in an armed assault on a school in Peshawar in December 2014.