A powerful blast near the Safari Park on Friday afternoon, targeting a bus carrying participants of the Imamia Student Organisation’s (ISO) al-Quds rally, killed two people, including a Shia scholar, and injured nine others.
The ISO activists were heading towards MA Jinnah Road in a bus to join the rally while the scholar, Maulana Manzoor Hussain was travelling alongside them in his car.
When the two vehicles reached near the main gate of the Safari Park, the bomb went off, injuring eleven people. They were rushed to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where the scholar and an ISO activist, Imtiaz Ali succumbed to their injuries.
The other nine people were identified as Waheed, Mehdi, Ashraf, Ali Hyder, Qadir, Nizaam, Fida Hussain and Mumtaz.
A witness told The News that the explosion was so strong that many vehicles on University Road collided with each other. “The windows of a Madadgar-15 office and a nearby building were shattered.” The blast left a large crater at the site.
DIG Shahid Hayat Khan of the East Range said the bomb disposal squad had collected samples from the blast site. “It has been found that the bomb weighed 2kg and was remote-controlled. It also contained ball bearings for maximum damage.”
The ball bearings heavily damaged the two vehicles. “The car was more damaged than the bus. Around 200 ball bearings penetrated the car.”
‘LJ behind the attack’
A senior police officer requesting anonymity told The News that the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ) was responsible for the blast.
“Karachi has been facing the threat of terrorist attacks for the past few weeks. There were reports about activists of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and LJ preparing to carry out attacks in the city.”
IGP orders action
Responding to the attack, Sindh IGP Fayyaz Ahmed Leghari has ordered police to ensure targeted action, based on intelligence reports, against criminals taking shelter in slums and their surrounding areas and at makeshift tea stalls.
Leghari also directed the police officials concerned to submit to him a detailed report on the blast.
Both men killed in the explosion were residents of Abbas Town. Their bodies were taken to the Ancholi Imambargh for funeral prayers. ISO leaders and activists staged a protest at Numaish Chowrangi in the evening, demanding the immediate arrest of the perpetrators of the attack.