Debra Lobo works at the Jinnah Medical and Dental College as the vice principal of student affairs.
KARACHI, Pakistan — A U.S. citizen was critically wounded in an attack Thursday in the southern port city of Karachi.
The American, identified as Debra Lobo, 55, was shot twice in her car by two men on a motorcycle as she left work Thursday, police said. Lobo, a longtime resident of Karachi, works at the Jinnah Medical and Dental College, a private medical school, as the vice principal of student affairs.
“She was critically injured; one bullet hit her right cheek and passed out of the left, and another bullet was lodged in her right arm,” said Syed Pir Mohammad Shah, a senior police officer for the district.
A group calling itself the Daulah al-Islamiyyah claimed responsibility for the attack. The gunmen appeared to have scattered leaflets in English and Urdu at the site of the attack. Titled “We Will Burn America,” the typed notes claim to be from “Lions of Daulah al-Islamiyyah, the Falcons of our Caliph.”
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The group said the attack was retaliation for the deaths of five “fellow fighters” in a paramilitary raid in Karachi’s Kiamari area last week.
The police said they were investigating the attack on Lobo, but it was too early to comment on the group, which left similar threatening notes at a private school recently.
“It’s too early to say,” Shah said. “They call themselves Daulah, like ISIS, but these typed letters seem very crude. We still need to verify this.”
The Arabic name of ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, is Dawla al-Islamiya fil-Iraq wa al-Sham.
Arif Rafiq, an adjunct fellow at the Middle East Institute, said the pamphlets suggested “that the attackers may have come from a loose jihadi network or a terrorist group like Jundullah that operates in a gray zone between a declining al-Qaida and upstart ISIS.”
The police said Lobo has lived in Karachi since 1995 and has a master’s degree in public health. She has two daughters, and her husband works at the Karachi American School, a private international school in Karachi. Drawing on conversations with Lobo’s husband and colleagues, the police said there was no indication that Lobo had received any threats from militants or extortionists.