Skip to main content

Blast kills 42, wounds dozens in Pakistani seaport city of Karachi

From Nasir Habib, CNN
updated 3:51 PM EST, Sun March 3, 2013
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
Deadly explosions hit Karachi
Deadly explosions hit Karachi
Deadly explosions hit Karachi
Deadly explosions hit Karachi
Deadly explosions hit Karachi
Deadly explosions hit Karachi
Deadly explosions hit Karachi
  • NEW: Rescue workers continue to discover bodies, a Karachi official says
  • The blast apparently targeted Shiites in Karachi, police say
  • A timing device triggered the 150 kilograms of explosives, police say
  • Police say the death toll could rise as more bodies are found in rubble

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- At least 42 people died and another 145 were wounded in a massive car bombing Sunday in the large Pakistani seaport city of Karachi, authorities said.

The toll could rise as rescue workers continued to recover bodies early Monday, said Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi, the top government official in Karachi.

The blast apparently targeted Shiite Muslims who lived in buildings surrounding where the vehicle, loaded with 150 kilograms of explosives, was parked, according to senior Karachi police official Rao Anwar Ahmed.

A timing device triggered the explosion next to a market in Karachi's Abbas town, Ahmed said.

Two explosions were initially reported, but the second blast has been attributed to a pipe that exploded as a result of the bombing, he added.

As of about midnight Sunday, no militant groups were known to have claimed responsibility, said Zaidi.

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

"Expressing sympathies with the bereaved families, the president directed the authorities concerned to ensure that the best medical treatment was provided to the injured," a statement from Zardari said.

Pakistani has seen several such deadly attacks in recent years, including one last month that struck a crowded marketplace on the outskirts of Quetta that killed at least 89 people and wounded at least 180 others. That blast followed a January day of bomb attacks targeting Shiites in Quetta that left at least 85 people dead.

On February 1, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a marketplace in the northern Pakistan city of Hangu near the Afghanistan border, killing at least 23 people.

Such violence is a common problem in the volatile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which, like Quetta's home province of Balochistan, borders Afghanistan.

Karachi, meanwhile, is some 1,350 kilometers (840 miles) south of Hangu and 800 kilometers (about 500 miles) from Quetta on Pakistan's southern coast. Situated along the Arabian Sea, it is the South Asian country's financial center and its most populated city.

Still, despite its distance from Pakistan's tumultuous western border areas, Karachi has not been entirely immune to violence.

In February 2010, for instance, at least 18 people died in blasts targeting a bus full of Shiite religious observers and another in front of a hospital. And in late 2009, a suicide bombing targeting a Shiite procession moving through Karachi killed at least 40 people.

Get the latest news from

Part of complete coverage on
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
updated 8:15 PM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
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.