The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

A bomb attack killed a senior aide to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday and at least two other people in the country’s business capital Karachi, officials said.

The bomb exploded in a middle-class neighbourhood in central Karachi, close to an office for Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which rules southern Sindh province.

Zardari was at his official residence around 10 kilometres (six miles) away when the attack happened, officials said.

“It was a bomb blast and at least three people were killed and 10 others were wounded,” police official Tahir Naveed told AFP.

Another police official, Usman Bajwa, said Bilal Sheikh, Zardari’s top personal security officer in Karachi, was among those killed.

“I can confirm that Bilal Sheikh has expired,” Bajwa told AFP.

Bajwa told reporters that pieces of human flesh at the scene indicate it “might” have been a suicide attack but said “it’s just an assumption so far”.

Naveed said the bomb was so powerful it shattered the bullet-proof vehicle in which Sheikh had been travelling.

Sheikh, his driver and a passer-by were killed, he added.

Both Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the PPP’s biggest rival, the Pakistan Muslim League-N party, strongly condemned the attack, state media said.

Ejaz Durrani, spokesman for Bilawal House, Zardari’s official residence in Karachi, said the president was in the city but had no schedule to travel on Wednesday.

Instead, Sheikh and his driver had gone to buy food for Ramadan, the holy Muslim fasting month, which begins on Thursday.

Sheikh had survived two previous attempts on his life, but had remained committed to the PPP cause, Durrani said.

Sheikh had been in charge of security for Zardari’s wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto when she returned to Karachi from exile on October 18, 2007.

Bomb attacks targeting her homecoming killed around 140 people. Bhutto survived, but was assassinated by a gun and suicide attack on December 27, 2007.

Sheikh had also been in charge of Zardari’s private residence in the capital Islamabad, and when he became president in 2008 Sheikh was appointed his personal chief security officer, Durrani said.

Zardari, who is hugely unpopular in Pakistan and is nicknamed “Mr 10 Percent” due to unproven corruption allegations against him, is due to step down when his term in office ends in September.

Photo Credit: Asif Hassan

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Meadows

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Legal experts including a Harvard professor and a top election and voting rights attorney are weighing in on Sunday night's bombshell report from Rolling Stone naming members of Congress and the Trump administration who were involved in the planning and organizing of the January 6 rally and/or "Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss," according to two of the planners of the "Stop the Steal" rally.

Keep reading... Show less

Reps. Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert and Andy Biggs

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Several House Republicans—exactly the ones you would guess—were involved in planning meetings for protests on January 6 as Trump supporters tried to block the certification of the 2020 election and with it, Donald Trump's loss, two sources have detailed to Rolling Stone.
Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}