KARACHI: Just three days after the attack near an Imambargah in Abbas Town, terrorists struck once again on Wednesday with two bomb blasts in the Orangi Town area, killing three people and injuring 11 others, including a journalist besides police and Rangers personnel.
Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of the area Rustam Nawaz said at about 6:15pm, they received information that an explosion had taken place near the Haider-e-Karrar Imambargah, Sector-5E, Peerabad.
The SDPO said he immediately left for the crime scene with his staff only to find people lying injured, damaged motorcycles and rickshaws and a puncture shop torn apart. They immediately moved the injured to Qatar and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) and called the bomb disposal squad and forensic experts.
As the police cordoned off the area, people present in the area said they thought a CNG cylinder had exploded. However, during police inspection, a destroyed motorcycle and body parts were found from the scene, which led to suspicion that it was a suicide attack.
SDPO Nawaz said that they were busy in inspecting the crime scene and trying to clear it when another explosion took place, about 8-10 feet away from the initial blast site. In this attack, seven people were injured. The victims were immediately shifted to the ASH and other private hospitals.
Sources, on the other hand, said that in the first explosion, three people, including a suspected suicide bomber, were killed. The other two deceased were identified as Arsalan and Rashid. The two men were shopkeepers with their shops near the blast site. Four other people, identified as Ahmed Raza, Mohammed Saleem, Mohammed Ali and Sundas, were injured.
In the second explosion, seven people were injured. They were identified as Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Adnan, Police Constable (PC) Imran, Gunman of SDPO Rustam Nawaz, two workers of Chippa Trust and a worker of Edhi Welfare Trust and Kiran Khan, a reporter of a private news channel.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police of the West Range, Jawed Alam Odho, said that it was very early to confirm that the first explosion was a suicide blast as they were investigating the matter. He said that the first bomb was attached to a motorcycle and exploded with its rider. Samples from the site will be sent for DNA sampling, Odho said and added that Nadra will be involved to help identify the alleged bomber. According to the BDS report, the bomb weighed about four kilogrammes and contained ball bearings and locally-made explosive materials.
DIG Odho said the second bomb was planted inside a cement block. Chances are that during the rush after the first blast, some suspects had thrown the bomb at the spot, he said. The second bomb was about one kilogramme in weight and also contained ball bearings.
On a query, DIG Odho said that due to threats of terrorism, they had already adopted security measures by erecting barriers at some distance from the Imambargahs and had also deployed a permanent mobile outside the Imambargahs for security reasons.
Moreover, he stated that no CCTV cameras were installed near the Imambargahs. Most of the CCTV cameras are installed where processions are taken out or at the routes from where the processions would pass, he added.
DIG Odho said that the registration number of the exploded motorcycle was KDA-4778 and upon verification, it was found to be registered in 2007 in the name of Nasir Mirza of Asia Enterprises. He, however, said that it had not yet been confirmed if the address was correct as usually terrorists used fake number plates. He confirmed that a motorcycle, a rickshaw and two shops were damaged in both the blasts collectively.
Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Raja Umer Khattab of CID, Sindh, termed the blast a remote-controlled one. He also said it was yet to confirmed if it was a suicide blast, as at the time of explosion no Majlis was being held at the Imambargah. He added that he would wait for the final report of the Bomb Disposal Squad and forensic experts to know the exact details.
SSP Khattab said it seemed that the terrorists might have had the law enforcers in sight as target in the second explosion, which was of low intensity. It is a usual practice that whenever an explosion takes place, officials from all the law enforcing agencies come to inspect the scene of the crime. He said at the time of the second explosion, officials from police, Rangers and intelligence agencies were present and luckily they remained safe.
SSP Khattab said the same techniques were used by the banned LJ and Jundullah in their earlier attacks that occurred in Karachi in the months of Muharram in the last three years. He added that Jundullah had an expertise in making Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) which directly connects with a mobile SIM and the second explosion was carried out on the same pattern.