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Car bomb kills key police official in Pakistani city of Karachi

By Aoun Sahi

9:56 AM PST, January 9, 2014

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- A car bombing in Karachi on Thursday killed a leading police investigator known as a tireless opponent of the Pakistani Taliban, dealing a blow to efforts to rein in the militant group in Pakistan.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Chaudhry Aslam, a superintendent of police with the Criminal Investigation Department in Karachi. The blast also killed two other police officials and wounded 11 people.

“He was killed because he was responsible for killing over 50" activists in the militant movement, Taliban spokesman Shaidullah Shahid told the media.

Local television channels showed images of Aslam's official vehicle, which was turned into a twisted wreck by the blast. Police officials in Karachi said that the attackers used more than 200 pounds of explosive material.

Raja Umar Khatab, a senior police official in Karachi, told The Times that Aslam was en route to his office when he was attacked. He said the investigator commonly used different routes but that it appeared militants had information about the streets he planned to take on Thursday.

Aslam, who joined the police force in 1984, was made head of counter-terrorism for Karachi in 2010. He conducted several operations against the Taliban and criminal organizations in the city.

Even Thursday, a few hours before his death, Aslam's unit conducted a raid in the Manghopir area, which is considered a terrorist hub in Karachi. Three militants died in the raid.

Aslam had received constant threats from the Taliban and crime lords. He had survived several attempts on his life in the past.

His wife, Noreen Aslam, told a local TV channel that he was not afraid of his enemies.

“He even wanted to see his children working in police like him," she said. "I talked to him only two minutes before the attack today. He told me that we need to change houses as soon as possible.”

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Sahi is a special correspondent.