Karachi: Grenades lobbed into Saudi consulate
KARACHI: Despite the massive presence of Rangers, Frontier Constabulary and private security personnel, terrorists riding a motorcycle managed to toss two hand grenades into the Saudi Consulate located at the intersection of Khayaban-e-Shamsheer and Khayaban-e-Hafiz in the Defence Phase-V. Luckily no casualties were reported as a result of the twin explosions.
Investigators termed the incident a complete security failure, while the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) of Karachi, Saud Ahmed Mirza, after taking strict notice of the lapse, suspended the police personnel posted for the protection of the Saudi Consulate. However, no action was taken against personnel belonging to other law enforcement agencies.
Police sources said that on Wednesday afternoon, information was received that two blasts occurred at the Saudi Consulate. The police and other departments moved towards the spot and when they reached, the law enforcers discovered that while the consulate itself was safe, the garden and a mosque situated inside the compound had sustained slight damage. Meanwhile, personnel from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Sindh, Special Investigation Unit (SIU) Karachi and the Capital City Police Officer himself reached the spot.
The area was cordoned off by the law enforcers and investigators started their probe by securing blast material and other evidence.
CCPO Karachi Saud Ahmed Mirza informed The News that two terrorists, who were riding a motorcycle, stopped just a few yards from the building and one of them took out a hand grenade and lobbed it into the consulate. The first grenade landed in the garden, but luckily no casualties were reported due to the resulting explosion. Soon after, the attackers lobbed another grenade into the complex and the explosion caused minor damage to the outer part of the mosque.
Mirza added that the suspects managed to flee from the scene of the crime. He also said that he ordered the suspension of personnel belonging to the Foreign Security Cell (FSC) of Sindh police due to their negligence, and ordered an inquiry against the concerned officers.
Spokesman for Pakistan Rangers Sindh, Major Bilal told The News that the security had been beefed up at the consulate following the terrorist attack. However, he was unaware if any action would be taken against the negligence of Rangers personnel.
Investigators said that the retrieved video footage showed that the two suspects were on a motorcycle. The attackers were wearing blue jeans and black t-shirts and were on the opposite side of the embassy when they hurled the grenades at the building.
Security personnel deployed to protect the embassy claimed that due to the rush and large public presence in the area, they were unable to open fire, which allowed the suspects to escape, revealed the investigators.
The investigators said it was premature to point the finger at a specific militant group, but were looking into various possibilities including the threat of Al-Qaeda, following the death of Osama bin Laden. The incident was reported at the Gizri police station.