Karachi consulate attacks

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The Karachi consulate attacks are a string of attacks against and plots to attack against the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan during the War on Terrorism.

The consulate is a tempting target for Islamic fundamentalists, because it occupies a slightly vulnerable position in downtown Karachi, next to the Marriott Hotel and accessible from two sides by roads. Pakistan is a staunch ally of the United States in the War on Terror, and conducts numerous operations against Islamic militants in the Northern mountains, particularly along the Afghanistan border. As Pakistan has a large devout Muslim population, there are also many supporters of these Islamic organisations, which include many members of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda ousted from Afghanistan in 2002. Because Karachi is on the Southern coast of Pakistan, security is believed to be less strict than it is in Northern cities like Islamabad, and so targets there are considered more vulnerable than elsewhere by terrorists.

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Attacks

June 2002 attack

On the morning of June 14, 2002, a truck with a fertilizer bomb driven by a suicide bomber was detonated outside the United States Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. Twelve people were killed and 51 injured, all Pakistanis.

A group called al-Qanoon claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the incident is believed to have been connected with al-Qaeda and the US War on Terror although no conclusive links were proven. Several people were arrested in the aftermath of the attack, and were reported to be members of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a large insurgent organisation. In November 2004, the alleged mastermind of the attack, Naveed-ul Hassan, was arrested in Pakistan. [1].

February 2003 shooting

On February 28, 2003, gunmen killed two police officers and wounded five other officers and a civilian in front of the consulate. The attack was conducted from motorcycles, and was deliberately aimed at the paramilitary rangers who have taken over guard duties at the consulate from the Pakistani police.

March 2004 bomb plot

On March 15, 2004, there was another attempt to blow up a van in front of the consulate. A grey van was stolen the day before after the driver was shot in the leg. The same van with different plates was later found parked in front of the US Consulate at 7:15 am. When the driver of the parked van was questioned by the police, he claimed that the van had broken down. Soon after, the man was picked up by another car. The police investigated the van and discovered a large blue tank filled with nearly 200 gallons of liquid explosives hooked up to a timer and two detonators. The device was deactivated.

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