Militants launched a brazen attack on the police headquarters of Pakistan’s largest city on Friday, officials said, as the sound of gunfire and grenade explosions rocked the heart of Karachi.
Two of the attackers were killed and at least one security official wounded, said Ghulam Nabi Memon, police chief for the southern Sindh province where Karachi is located.
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Pakistani Taliban in a brief statement claimed responsibility for the assault.
Karachi police chief Javed Alam Odho confirmed that an attack was ongoing and said police and paramilitary troops were responding. Earlier, TV footage showed officers surrounding the city’s central police station.
Residents said they also heard the sound of explosions amid the clashes.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said five or six militants were involved in the attack and threw hand grenades as they tried to force their way into the police headquarters.
Sharjeel Memon, the Sindh province’s spokesman, said the attackers had been surrounded although shooting and fighting were still underway.
Pakistan has witnessed a surge in militant attacks since November when Pakistani Taliban ended a monthslong cease-fire with the government.
Pakistan’s outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban are a separate group but are allies of the Taliban in Afghanistan, who seized power there more than a year ago as US and NATO troops withdrew. The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan emboldened Pakistani militants, whose top leaders and fighters are hiding across the border.
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