Pakistan suffered two vicious terrorist attacks this week.
The first took place at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, carried out by terrorist groups holed up in the mountainous Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. At least 37 people were killed, including 10 terrorists.
The United States condemns this brutal attack and stands steadfast in its commitment to the people of Pakistan in their efforts to counter terrorism and build a peaceful future. The U.S. supports Pakistan’s efforts to bring all those involved in planning and executing this attack to justice.
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan claimed joint responsibility for the Karachi terrorist attack. TTP made a similar claim for a raid on Peshawar’s Bacha Khan International airport on December 15, 2012. The group also took responsibility for commando raids on the Pakistan Navy airbase PNS Mehran near Karachi in May 2011, followed by a deadly attack on a Pakistan Air Force Base in August 2012.
On the same day as the Karachi attack, 30 Shia pilgrims were killed in Balochistan, when a suicide bomber stormed the hotel where they and about 300 Shia were staying. They are the latest innocent victims of sectarian violence in Pakistan. The attack took place in the town of Taftan, on Pakistan’s border with Iran. The attack came when a convoy of 10 buses stopped at two hotels. The buses were carrying the pilgrims returning from a visit to Shia holy sites in Iran, stopping for a rest in Taftan. There were two suicide bombers, but only one detonated himself. The terrorist group Jeish-Al-Islam claimed responsibility.
The United States strongly condemns those responsible for the deadly attack on the Shia pilgrims. “Extremist violence against innocent Pakistani men, women, and children of any faith,” said State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, “is an assault on universal human values.”
The United States encourages the government of Pakistan to take steps to protect and improve the security of minorities in Pakistan and to promote tolerance and religious freedom.