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
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
It's a very big challenge but NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan thinks it can be done.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
CNN's Atika Shubert explains how the most recent ISIS video differs from the other previous hostage execution videos.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1738 GMT (0138 HKT)
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
November 16, 2014 -- Updated 1720 GMT (0120 HKT)
Volunteer fighters in eastern Ukraine dig down just 800 meters from the front line.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1729 GMT (0129 HKT)
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1204 GMT (2004 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