Skip to main content

No claim of responsibility yet for Pakistan bombing that killed 45

By Nasir Habib and Jethro Mullen, CNN
March 4, 2013 -- Updated 1159 GMT (1959 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The blast apparently targeted Shiites in Karachi, police say
  • Authorities say the toll could rise as rescue workers search the rubble
  • Shiites have been the victims of dozens of sectarian attacks in the past year

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- No group has stepped forward so far to claim responsibility for a massive car bombing in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi that killed at least 45 people over the weekend in what appeared to be the latest attack on the Shiite minority in the country.

The blast Sunday tore into nearby buildings, wounding about 150 people, and authorities warned that the death toll could rise as rescue workers continued to search for bodies amid the rubble.

Caused by a vehicle loaded with about 150 kilograms (330 lbs) of explosives set to a timer, the explosion took place in Abbas Town, an area of Karachi where many Shiite Muslims live, police said.

In recent months, a number of large-scale bomb attacks have targeted Shiites, who are overwhelmingly outnumbered by Sunni Muslims in Pakistan.

A vehicle bomb explosion in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, killed at least 42 people and wounded at least 145 others on Sunday, March 3, police said. A vehicle bomb explosion in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, killed at least 42 people and wounded at least 145 others on Sunday, March 3, police said.
Deadly explosions hit Karachi
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Photos: Deadly explosions hit Karachi Photos: Deadly explosions hit Karachi

A huge bombing last month in a Shiite neighborhood in the city of Quetta killed about 90 people and fueled outrage about authorities' failure to stem the attacks, many of which were claimed by the Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Pakistani security forces responded by carrying out raids in the area in which four militants were killed and others arrested. But Sunday's attack in Karachi suggested they hadn't done enough to dissuade further attacks.

Amnesty International says it has documented 92 separate attacks on Shiites across Pakistan since January 2012 that have resulted in the deaths of more than 500 people. It has criticized what it says is the lack of prosecutions of those responsible for the violence.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and President Asif Ali Zardari both condemned the bombing Sunday.

Although many of the recent attacks against Shiites in Pakistan have focused on the Hazara ethnic group in Quetta, sectarian violence has struck Karachi previously.

In February 2010, for instance, at least 18 people died in blasts that took place near a bus full of Shiite religious observers and in front of a hospital in the city.

And in late 2009, a suicide bomb attack on a Shiite procession moving through Karachi killed at least 40 people.

CNN's Nasir Habib reported from Islamabad and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT