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Pakistani president’s security chief killed in attack

By Lubna Jerar Naqvi, written for UPI.com   |   July 10, 2013 at 12:16 PM
KARACHI, Pakistan, July 10 (UPI Next) -- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s security chief, Bilal Sheikh, was killed in an apparent targeted suicide bomb attack in Karachi – Pakistan’s southern port city - Wednesday.

Sheikh, along with his security convoy, was targeted while he stopped to buy fruit from a vendor on the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts Thursday and during which bloodshed is not permitted. He was in charge of Zardari’s private property and the Karachi headquarters of his Pakistan Peoples Party.

Three were killed in the attack and 12 injured were brought to the hospital, according to the police surgeon.

Raja Umar Khatab, a senior police official told reporters that “initial evidence” indicates “that this was a suicide attack on Bilal’s vehicle.”

“This was not Bilal’s usual route, therefore in my opinion the attacker was following his convoy and the attack was quite professional and perfect,” he said.

“From the evidence, in my opinion, I don’t think it was a planted bomb. He was attacked before, but there is no similarity between the two attacks. His vehicle was bulletproof, which is why it is more likely to be a suicide attack,” he said.

Zardari, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the chief ministers of all four provinces and other leaders condemned the attack in strong terms.

Sharif said the injured would be provided the best treatment possible. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called Sheikh’s death “a terrible loss for my family.”

“I am shocked,” he said.

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