Gunmen attack Pakistan spy agency offices, kill 2

AP News
Posted: Jul 24, 2013 1:54 PM

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen attacked a compound that houses offices of Pakistan's top spy agency Wednesday in a coordinated assault backed by explosives, killing two people, officials said.

Multiple blasts rocked the government compound in Pakistan's southern district of Sukkur just before gunmen opened fire on security officials there, said Javid Odho, a deputy Inspector general of police. Television footage aired after the attack showed damaged buildings and ambulance crews taking the wounded to local hospitals.

Pakistani Interior Ministry spokesman Omar Hamid Khan said the regional office of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency appeared to be the target. Odho also said it appeared the agency's office was the target of the attack, though other government agencies also have offices in the compound.

Khan said at least three of the attackers were killed, while 37 people were wounded in the attack. Khan said it appeared the gunmen threw grenades before launching the attack.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack and a motive for the assault wasn't immediately clear. Khan said police were investigating to see whether the spy agency had any important detainees being held in the office. Agency officials could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday, though they typically don't speak publicly with journalists.

"It is an act of terrorism," Odho said. The police official declined to say whether he believed the Pakistani Taliban or any other militant group was behind the attack.

The Pakistani Taliban have declared war against the Pakistani state, killing thousands of civilians, police, army and other government officials in the campaign. Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi has long been a target of the terrorism, but attacks in southern districts like Sukkur remain rare.