Karachi, Nov 12 (ANI): The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attack on Karachi's Crime Investigation Department compound not only underscores the ties between jihadi groups in Pakistan's biggest metropolis and Al Qaeda and Taliban operating out of the tribal belt between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also their ability to launch terror strikes at will.
"They just want to tell us that they are still alive and could strike back," the Christian Science Monitor quoted Omar Shahid, the senior superintendent of police at the Crime Investigation Department, as saying.
According to police and hospital sources, at least 18 people were killed and over one hundred injured in the attack, which came a day after police in Karachi had arrested TTP militant Iqbal Bajouri and six other suspected militants from the Al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).
There are 250 to 300 trained LeJ fighters operating in Karachi and most of them have received training in Waziristan, according to the militants arrested on Wednesday, revealed Shahid.
He also quoted a militant, as saying, "We have been ordered to carry out attacks against the enemies... If our enemies can target us in the daylight then nights are long and belong to us."
Karachi has long served as a safe haven for Taliban and jihadi outfits and has also remained a flashpoint for ethnic, political, and sectarian violence, the paper said.
Although this attack does not seem related to the ongoing killings in Karachi, it could further complicate the fragile security situation here, it added.
"These local jihadi outfits provide oxygen to Al Qaeda and Taliban," says Jameel Yusuf, a Karachi-based security analyst.
"The local militant outfits provide fighters and suicide bombers to Al Qaeda and Taliban. And if the police come hard on local militant outfits, then their masters will also feel the pain."
With a population of 160 million, the port city of Karachi generates more than 60 per cent of Pakistan's GDP.
"Karachi is the jugular of Pakistan," said provincial official Sharafuddin Memon, adding, "Terrorists want to paralyze it but we won't let it happen. We will come much harder on them."
Earlier on Thursday night, militants had rammed a truck laden with some 1,000 kilograms of explosives into Karachi's CID compound, which is only hundreds of meters away from the United States consulate, the provincial chief minister's residence, and numerous luxury hotels.
The massive explosion destroyed the anti-terrorism police compound and seriously damaged adjacent residential buildings, which were covered by smoke and clouds of dust. Hours later, witnesses revealed that rescue work was still under way to help people buried under debris.
Police officials said that they had taken seven people into custody for questioning. (ANI)