Three dead, 22 injured in blast near Karachi Imam Bargah
At least three people were killed and 22 others injured when a remote-controlled blast exploded near an Imam Bargah in the Abbas Town area of Karachi on Sunday night.
The improvised explosive device (IED) was planted in a motorcycle outside a milk shop, bordering an electricity pole. Transformer was completely destroyed in the result of blast, causing the power outrage in the area located on Abul Hassan Asfahani Road.
The Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC) has fielded the teams to repair the dented infrastructure and power supply has been restored in certain parts of the area.
The bomb was intended to be placed outside the imam bargah Mustafa, where a Moharram-ul-Haram congregation was underway, but due to the heavy-deployment of Rangers in the area for security purposes, the wrongdoer was unable to reach close to the worship place.
Two mourners, identified as Azhar Hasan, 38, and Muhammad Haider, 25, were dead at the spot while a person succumbed to his wounds in the hospital.
The injured, who include five Rangers personnel, were rushed to the nearby hospitals which include Abbasi Shaheed, Agha Khan, Patel Hospital, and Liaquat National Hospital. The death toll is feared to climb as six of the injured are said to be in critical condition.
Tension prevailed among the Shia community in area following the blast and they protests against the incident. The rangers engaged the protesters, who were terming the blast as serious security lapse, in firing.
Police and law enforcement agencies cordoned off the blast site immediately and launched investigations. Initial investigation revealed that the number plate on the motorcycle was forged.
SSP Crime Investigation Department, Chaudhry Aslam confirmed the bomb was an improvised explosive device (IED).
“A remote control device was used to detonate the bomb”, he said.
Bomb disposal squad officials believed that an estimated three to four kg of explosives were used in the bomb.
No group has claimed the responsibility of attack so far, but Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a banned notorious anti-Shia group, has carried out this sort of blasts on the Shia Muslims across the country in the recent years, in which myriad Shias, who account for around 20% of the population, have lost their lives.
Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, and officials at the federal and provincial levels as well as major party leaders have strongly condemned the attack.
“Targeting the innocent people was highly deplorable”, said Zardari, who himself is a Shia Muslim. The President directed the authorities concerned to offer much possible help to the victims.