Pakistan president’s security chief killed by suicide bomber after stopping for fruit

Pakistani security officials examine wreckage of a vehicle at the site of a bomb blast in Karachi on July 10, 2013. Asif Hassan / AFP - Getty Images

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s security chief was killed by a suicide bomber Wednesday after he stopped his armored SUV to buy fruit from a roadside vendor.

Bilal Sheikh was sitting in the vehicle in Gurumandir in downtown Karachi when the device was detonated.

An official of the Sindh Rangers, a paramilitary force deployed in Karachi to augment regular policing, confirmed Sheikh was killed.

Local media reported that two other people were killed and at least 13 were injured.

A Karachi police official told local television that it was not clear whether the bomber had been following Sheikh or waited for him at the fruit stand. He said that about 11 to 17 pounds of explosives were used.

“It seems that the suicide attacker walked up to Bilal Sheikh's vehicle and blew himself up outside the front passenger seat of the vehicle where Sheikh was seated,” a senior police officer, Raja Umar Khattab, told Reuters.

Zardari, who lives in Karachi, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack.

Karachi is the headquarters of Zardari's liberal PPP party, which has been attacked by militants in the past.

Sheikh had previously handled security for Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of Zardari and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack in 2007.

Reuters contributed to this report.