Accessibility links

Breaking News

Pakistani President's Security Chief Killed In Suicide Attack

Police said Sheikh's driver and the fruit seller were also killed in the attack.
Police said Sheikh's driver and the fruit seller were also killed in the attack.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari's security chief has been killed in a suspected suicide bomb attack in the southern seaport city of Karachi.

Police said on July 10 that Bilal Sheikh was killed as he stopped his armored car to buy some fruit.

Police said Sheikh's driver and the fruit seller were also killed in the attack.

"According to the information we have gathered from our forensic team and bomb-disposal squad, it appears to have been a suicide blast. Usman Bajwa, a senior police officer in Karachi, told journalists.

"The explosion impacted the left side of the vehicle. The glass was bulletproof. It also had armored plates that we can see, but these protection measures could not withstand the bomb's impact."

Sheikh was in charge of security at Zardari's official residence in Karachi and frequently accompanied him as one of his guards. He was a longtime associate of the president's Pakistan Peoples Party.

Ejaz Durrani, spokesman for Bilawal House, the official name of the residence, said Zardari was in the city but was not scheduled to travel on July 10.

Sheikh survived an earlier assassination attempt last year.

He is believed to frequently change his routes around Karachi, one of country's most volatile cities.

Sheikh looked after the security of Zardari's wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, following her return to Karachi from exile in 2007.

Bomb attacks at her huge homecoming rally killed around 140 people on October 18, 2007. She survived the attack but was killed by a gun and suicide attack on December 27, 2007.

Pakistan has been hit by a wave of bombings since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif assumed office last month.

The nuclear-armed state has been unable to tame a decade-old Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgency.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.