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American vice-principal of medical college shot at, wounded

American vice-principal of medical college shot at, wounded

KARACHI: A woman identified by police as a US national was shot at and wounded here on Thursday.

According to Firozabad police, Debra Lobo, vice principal of the city’s Jinnah Medical and Dental College, was going home in the Defence Housing Authority in a car at 3pm when four suspected terrorists on two motorcycles attacked her on Shaheed-i-Millat Road.

Ms Lobo suffered two bullet wounds on her hand and face and was taken to a nearby hospital. She was later shifted to the Aga Khan University Hospital where she is stated to be out of danger.

Karachi-East SSP Pir Mohammed Shah said the 55-year-old woman had been attacked by militants for being an American citizen. She hails from California.

Mr Shah said that a leaflet found near the crime scene said ‘we will burn America’ and that the attack was to avenge the recent killing of five militants in an ‘encounter’ in Keamari area.

He said the leaflet did not carry a logo of any militant organisation but claimed that they were ‘lions of Islamic State’ and ‘falcons of the caliph’.

The Rangers had killed the five militants linked with the outlawed Al Qaeda and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan in Keamari on April 8 in an alleged encounter.

One of the deceased had been identified as Mohammed Umar alias Fahd alias Moon who was stated to be chief of Ilyas Kashmiri group of the TTP in Karachi.

Talking to Dawn, a Counter-Terrorism Department official, Raja Umer Khattab, said it was the first time that a pamphlet thrown by the attackers on the crime scene mentioned the self-styled Islamic State (IS) militant group or ‘Daish’. However, he added, it did not mean that IS existed in the city.

He said the five militants killed in Keamari recently in the ‘encounter’ did not belong to the IS.

Mr Khattab said that Al Qaeda’s ‘militant wing’ might be involved in the attack on Ms Lobo.

“Members of this militant wing are highly educated people, financially sound and live in rich areas,” he said.

AFP adds: The US embassy has not confirmed the identity or nationality of the victim.

“We’ve seen press reports and are monitoring and looking into the reports,” a spokesperson said.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2015

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