KARACHI: At least four people were killed, including three Chinese nationals, and four sustained injuries in a suicide attack on a van inside the University of Karachi near Confucius Institute, Geo News reported Tuesday.
According to the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), the attack was carried out by a burqa-clad woman carrying a schoolbag in which explosives were kept.
The CTD, in a report, said that about three to four kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast, adding that the explosives were made up of steel ball-bearings.
The blast took place at 1:52pm and after being informed, police and rescue officials rushed to the scene and shifted the injured to the nearby hospital.
Sources said that the foreign teachers, onboard a van, were heading towards the department when the explosion occurred. Rangers personnel riding on two motorbikes were escorting the van.
CTD confirmed that it was a suicide attack and a burqa-clad woman, who could be seen in the CCTV footage of the incident, was responsible.
Police sources said that four Rangers personnel were injured in the explosion, adding that that the personnel were deployed for the security of the van. The condition of the Rangers personnel is out of danger now.
Those killed in the explosion were identified as Confucius Institute’s Director Huang Guiping, Ding Mupeng, Chen Sai and the van’s driver Khalid.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif made a telephone call to Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah and assured him of full cooperation in the blast-related investigations.
He expressed deep sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the blast and received details about the incident. The prime minister assured the chief minister of complete cooperation to eradicate terrorism in the country. He vowed to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country through joint efforts and unity
The prime minister directed the chief minister to ensure the best medical facilities for the injured.
Soon after the blast, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah reached the Chinese Consulate and briefed the consul general on the explosion at the University of Karachi.
He expressed deep sorrow and grief over the demise of three Chinese nationals in the explosion and assured the consul general of a thorough probe into the blast.
He vowed that the suspects involved in the blast will be brought to justice. “Some conspirative elements do not like the Pakistan-China partnership,” he said, adding that the elements will be dealt with an iron hand.
The chief minister said that the government assigns great value to the services of Chinese experts in the country and the province. During the meeting, he also conveyed the condolences offered by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari to the families of the victims.
The Chinese consul general thanked the chief minister for visiting the consulate.
Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has taken notice of the explosion and directed the officials to reach the scene immediately.
He also directed to shift the injured to Dow University of Health Sciences and provide the injured best medical facilities. The chief minister also sought a comprehensive report from the Karachi Commissioner into the explosion.
Strongly condemning the explosion, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives. “This is a highly condemnable incident,” he said, adding that he is standing with the bereaved families in this difficult time. He also prayed for the early recovery of the injured.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf and Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram have also condemned the blast.
Condemning the blast, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed his sorrow over the incident and said sent heartfelt condolences to the people of China on behalf of Pakistan.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan also condemned the blast and said demanded a thorough investigation into the matter. He also sent his condolences to the bereaved family members of the deceased. The former premier also demanded the Sindh government provide adequate facilities to the injured.
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