18th October; when Karachi took bath of blood

By: Asif Ali Nadeemi

The bombing on 18 October, 2007 was an attack on the motorcade carrying former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The streets of Karachi had come to a grinding halt to welcome Benazir Bhutto, after an eight-year self-imposed exile during which she lived in Dubai and London. Two explosions occurred in front of the rallying bullet-proof truck from which she greeted her fans and party members at approximately 00:52 PST, on the route about halfway from the airport to the tomb of Muhammad Ali Jinnah for a scheduled rally, just after Bhutto’s truck had crossed a bridge near Karsaz.

Police vehicles bore the brunt of the blasts, which completely destroyed three police vans and killed at least 20 policemen in the vehicles. Conflicting reports indicate that Bhutto, who was not injured in the attack, was either sitting on top of the truck or had just climbed into the compartment of the truck at the time of the explosion.

Bhutto was escorted to her residence, Bilawal House. The victims were rushed to Jinnah Hospital, Liaquat National Hospital, Civil Hospital and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. In a press conference on 19 October 2007, Bhutto claimed that her security team was unable to prevent the attack because of the street lights being turned off, and called for an inquiry into why this happened.