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
July 12, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
Tichleman 1
A makeup artist, writer and model who loves monkeys and struggles with demons.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Lionel Messi's ability is not in question -- but will the World Cup final allow him to emerge from another footballing legend's shadow?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1029 GMT (1829 HKT)
Why are Iraqi politicians dragging their feet while ISIS militants fortify their foothold across the country?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
An elephant, who was chained for 50 years, cries tears of joy after being freed in India. CNN's Sumnima Udas reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 0732 GMT (1532 HKT)
Beneath a dusty town in northeastern Pakistan, CNN explores a cold labyrinth of hidden tunnels that was once a safe haven for militants.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
CNN's Ravi Agrawal asks whether Narendra Modi can harness the country's potential to finally deliver growth.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 0444 GMT (1244 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wedeman visits the Yazji family and finds out what it's like living life in the middle of conflict.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Israel has deployed its Iron Dome defense system to halt incoming rockets. Here's how it works.
Even those who aren't in the line of fire feel the effects of the chaos that has engulfed Iraq since extremists attacked.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
People walk with their luggage at the Maiquetia international airport that serves Caracas on July 3, 2014. A survey by pollster Datanalisis revealed that 25% of the population surveyed (end of May) has at least one family member or friend who has emigrated from the country. AFP PHOTO/Leo RAMIREZ (Photo credit should read LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Plane passengers are used to paying additional fees, but one airport in Venezuela is now charging for the ultimate hidden extra -- air.
ADVERTISEMENT