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
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 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