4 killed, 18 hurt in Karachi suicide bombing
KARACHI: Four people were killed and 18 others wounded in a suicide bombing attack which was actually targeted at a senior police officer, police said on Thursday. The police said the suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden motorcycle into the armoured personnel carrier (APC) of Malir district SSP Rao Anwar at a busy street in the Malir Halt area early on Thursday. Rescue workers found the suicide attacker’s mutilated head, ears and hands at the scene.
Police arrested one of the injured identified as Wajid from the scene. The motorcycle used in the attack allegedly belonged to him, the team constituted to investigate the case has confirmed. Police said that the initial findings transpired that explosives were planted on to the motorcycle and not carried by the suicide attacker in a suicide belt.
The banned Tehrik–e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack. The militant outfit is responsible for a number of terror incidents in the city, including the September 19, 2011 bombing outside the house of SSP CID Chaudhry Aslam.
“I was the target of the attack,” said Anwar, who had been receiving threats from militants for the past one month and forced to use an APC for his protection.”I was moving with my squad in Malir Halt when the attack occurred. I am unhurt, but some of my men have been injured,” he told The News.
Anwar, along with his squad was on his way to the district courts where he had to appear before a Sessions Judge in the murder case of two lawyers. When he was crossing a traffic intersection, the suicide bomber riding an explosives-laden motorcycle rammed into his APC, causing a huge bang, police said.
Karachi’s Additional Inspector General of Police Akhtar Hassan Khan Gorchani said around eight to 10 kilograms of explosives was used in the attack that took place at around 11:30 am. The explosion damaged at least 10 vehicles, including the APC and two police mobile vans, as well as shattering glass at nearby offices and buildings.
Those who died in the attack have been identified as Adeel, 18, Lal Badshah, 45, Atta Muhammad, 55 and Owais, 32. Seventeen others, including Anwar’s nephew and three policemen, were injured. Heavy contingents of police and Rangers personnel cordoned off the area. Rescue teams took the bodies and the injured to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and nearby private hospitals.
According to a Bomb Disposal Squad official, the suicide attacker used C-4 explosives along with ball bearings and splinters. Three city wardens, Ifthikar, Muhammad Saeed and Sultan, and three policemen’s Mohammad Malik, Constable Mohammad Ayub and Constable Mohammad Ejaz were also among those wounded.
An FIR has been lodged at the Model Colony police station. On September 19 last year, at least eight people, including three policemen, were killed and six others injured in a suicide bombing outside the residence of SSP Chaudhry Aslam Khan in DHA Phase 8.
Saher Baloch adds: Mohammad Yusuf, 50, a labourer from Badin, was squatting on a footpath, his back facing the road, as the bomb exploded. “Something really sharp hit beneath my ribcage and I lost consciousness. I donít remember seeing anything at all,” he said, lying in a congested ward at the JPMC.
A paan shop owner, Irfan, who was hit by shrapnel, said that he did not get time to see what happened. “I just heard a huge explosion and before I could make sense out of it, something hit my head and nose. The only thing I saw was my stall, blown to pieces.”
Another survivor, Yaseen Baloch, 55, was severely hit and was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit. His brother-in-law, Abdul Kareem, was among the first ones to reach hospital. “It’s been three hours since he was brought here there is no clue whether he will survive or not,” he said.