A roadside bomb hit a bus carrying Pakistani navy officials in the port city of Karachi on Thursday, killing five people and wounding at least seven, officials said, the third attack on the navy in less than a week.

Pakistan navy spokesman Commander Salman Ali said two navy officials aboard the bus were killed and seven were injured. A hospital official said a passerby was also killed.

“The bus was taking navy officers to a dockyard when a planted bomb exploded nearby,” senior police official Tahir Navaid told Reuters. A civilian car and motorcycle were also damaged.

Two bombs hit buses carrying navy personnel on Tuesday, killing four people and wounding 56. Taliban insurgents took responsibility for the twin attacks.

Militants linked to al Qaeda and Taliban have carried out several attacks on the Pakistani army and airforce which spearhead offensives against them in their northwestern strongholds near the Afghan border.

The insurgents have not targeted the navy in the past and security experts say the attacks on the navy, seen as a soft target with less effective protection, could be part of a new strategy to widen their violent campaign.

Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Kayani last weekend said his forces had broken the back of militants. The insurgents, however, have waged a campaign of bomb and suicide attacks across the country in retaliation for military offensives against them.

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