Suicide attackers target ISI office, 7 killed

Suicide attackers target ISI office, 7 killed

A group of suicide attackers stormed a compound in southern Pakistan housing an office of the ISI, blowing themselves up and killing at least seven people and injuring over 40 others.

The attack was carried out shortly after 'iftar', the meal that ends the daily fast in the holy month of Ramzan. Geo News channel quoted intelligence sources as saying that at least four terrorists, wearing suicide vests and carrying automatic weapons, were involved in the attack.

One attacker rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the wall of the Inter-Services Intelligence office at Barrage Colony in Sukkur, Sindh's third largest city located 500 km from the financial hub of Karachi.

The others stormed into the regional headquarters of the ISI, lobbed grenades and exchanged fire with personnel inside. Two attackers blew themselves up inside the building, Geo News reported.

DG Rangers Major General Rizwan Akhtar was quoted by Dawn News as saying that at least seven people were killed and over 40 injured in the brazen attack.

Akhtar confirmed security forces had killed all attackers and that the ISI compound had been cleared of the militants.

Witnesses said they had heard at least four blasts within the high-security compound that houses the ISI office and residences of intelligence, police and civil officials.

Footage on television showed the ISI office and other buildings were extensively damaged. The walls and ceilings of the buildings collapsed and several cars were destroyed.

A police official in Sukkur, who did not want to be named, told PTI that buildings housing government offices were razed by the blasts.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Javed Odho told the media the ISI office was the target of the attack. "The blasts took place in a compound that houses the offices of senior police officials and an intelligence agency," he said.

Security forces and paramilitary Pakistan Rangers surrounded the area and conducted a search operation.

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon described the attack as unfortunate and said the Barrage Colony also housed residences of government officials, including judges.
No group claimed responsibility for the attacks. The Taliban have targeted offices of the ISI and other security agencies in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces but such attacks are rare in Sindh.

President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the attack in a statement.

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