One of Pakistan’s most daring counter-terrorism officials, Special Superintendent of Police Chaudhry Aslam, and three other policemen were killed by a Taliban suicide bomber in this southern port city on Thursday.
The bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into Aslam’s motorcade at Hassan Square in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of Karachi as the officer was returning from a successful operation that resulted in the killing of three suspected militants.
Four policemen were injured in the attack. The powerful blast, which was heard from several kilometres away, blew out windows of many buildings in the area.
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The Mohmand chapter of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the assassination.
Additional Inspector General of Police Iqbal Mehmood told media that Aslam was killed in the blast that targeted his vehicle.
Footage on television showed the mangled remains of Aslam’s car and a huge cloud of smoke rising over the area.
Aslam, who led several drives against criminal gangs and the Taliban in Karachi, had escaped several attacks in recent years. In 2011, Aslam escaped unhurt when his home in Karachi was targeted by terrorists though eight others were killed by the blast.
The official had joined the CID as head of its Counter-Terrorism Unit in 2009. He later became chief of the Anti-Extremism Cell in 2010.
Due to the nature of his work, Aslam had countless enemies, ranging from banned militant groups to drug-runners. He was also decorated with the Pakistan Police Medal, Qauid-e-Azam Police Medal and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, one of the country’s highest awards for bravery.