Series of low-intensity blasts hit bank branches across Sindh
HYDERABAD / KARACHI, May 2: A series of low-intensity explosions, most of them targeting branches of the National Bank (NBP), were reported from cities and towns across Sindh on Wednesday.
Handbills purportedly issued by the Sindhu Desh Liberation Army’s ‘chief commander’ Darya Khan were found at the places where the blasts had taken place.
According to sources, some suspects were detained in raids carried out after the explosions.
The group was earlier involved in similar attacks on railway tracks and gas pipelines in the province.
In Hyderabad, blasts took place at four branches of the NBP.
Three people, a man and his son among them, were injured in one explosion.
The blasts at the Tower Market and Fatima Jinnah Road branches ripped apart the bank’s ATMs.One blast took place at a Sindh Bank branch in Kotri where a watchman of Wapda was injured.
Explosions also took place at NBP branches in Tando Mohammad Khan and Hala.Saleem Vistro, in-charge of the bomb disposal squad, said: “These were locally made devices containing one to one and a half pound of a high explosive substance.
They were fitted with detonators but nothing was found after the explosions.”
According to NBP sources, nine branches of the bank’s Hyderabad region were attacked.
An official said work at some branches was affected for some time.
Bombs also exploded at or near branches of the bank in Ranipur, Dadu, Mehar, Thatta, Shaheed Benazirabad, Qazi Ahmed, Moro, Badin, Larkana, Shahdadkot and Wara.
The bank’s staff in Dadu stopped payment of salaries to employees of various departments and demonstrated in protest.
A bomb placed outside the Sakrand branch was defused.
A blast in the Dokri branch damaged the office of the manager and injured a guard, Abdul Sattar Samo.
The pamphlet found after an explosion said: “Sons of the soil have decided to fight for the independence of Sindh.”
In Karachi, two low-intensity blasts, one in Gulistan-i-Jauhar and the other in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, triggered panic in the areas.
Early in the morning, a bomb connected to an electronic device exploded under an electric pole near a KESC office.
Minutes later, a bomb went off in a mobile phones market in Gulshan-i-Iqbal.
The Quetta-bound Jaffer Express escaped disaster when local people stopped it moments after the tracks were blown up in Qazi Wah, near Ghotki. The train left three hours later after the tracks had been repaired.
An explosion on the railway line between Sarhari and Lundo stations damaged a foot-long portion the tracks, causing suspension of rail traffic.
Hyderabad SSP Haseeb Afzal Beg told reporters the blasts in the city could possibly be a reaction to the operation being carried out in Karachi’s Lyari area.
He said the bank’s administration had said that the closed-circuit television cameras near the ATMs were not functioning.