Police said on Friday that five Japanese nationals were unhurt after their vehicle was targeted by a suicide bomber in Karachi’s Landhi area.

The suicide bomber was killed in the attack while an accomplice was gunned down by police, officials said. A private security guard accompanying the Japanese national died after succumbing to his injuries while two bystanders were also injured, officials added.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) East Azfar Mahesar told Dawn.com that the incident took place near Murtaza Chowrangi in Landhi, adding that the five foreign nationals were travelling in a Hiace van.

“All five Japanese remained safe,” he said. “The Japanese nationals were on the way to Export Processing Zone from their residence in Zamzama, Clifton,” he said.

Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) DIG Asif Aijaz Shaikh told Dawn.com that the Japanese nationals were travelling in a van along with two security guards when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle hit them.

“All five Japanese nationals are safe,” DIG Shaikh said. He further said that another “suicide bomber” who was there for “backup” was gunned down by a Sharafi Goth police party patrolling the area.

“No one has claimed responsibility so far,” the DIG said, adding that the vehicle carrying the Japanese nationals was bullet-proof.

Speaking to the media at the scene, CTD in-charge Raja Umar Khattab said that the Japanese nationals were travelling in a convoy of three cars.

“The suicide bomber and his accomplice were already present in the area. When they saw the cars, the suicide bomber attacked,” he said. The official further said that the attacker’s accomplice “panicked” as the suicide attack did not achieve its objective and began open firing.

He said that officials gunned down the second terrorist. “From what I checked, the terrorist fired about 15 rounds. Other than that, he also had some grenades,” Khattab said.

The CTD official reiterated that the foreign nationals were unhurt, adding that timely action by police and security guards had thwarted the attack.

The miscreants had followed the Japanese group’s vehicle for some time before the attack, he said, with authorities suspecting they carried out reconnaissance to identify the target and location of the attack.

In Tokyo, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshimasa Hayashi, told a press conference that one Japanese national was confirmed to have been injured and the government was checking details, having flagged the risk to other citizens in Pakistan.

One guard dead, 2 bystanders injured

Police spokesperson Abrar Hussain Baloch said stated earlier that two bystanders and the guard with the Japanese nationals had suffered injuries.

Speaking to Dawn.com later in the day, police surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed said that the injured guard, identified as 45-year-old Noor Mohammed, had succumbed to injuries during treatment at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

She added that the victim had suffered head wounds. The police surgeon noted that the condition of one of the two remaining injured persons was critical.

PM praises ‘timely action’ by police

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the incident and prayed for the recovery of the injured, according to a statement posted on X.

“Timely action by the police saved us from any major loss of life,” he said.

“We will not rest until terrorism has been completely eradicated. We will thwart every nefarious act of disturbing the law and order situation,” the premier said.

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