Taliban attack on Rangers leaves 3 dead in Karachi
KARACHI: An explosives-laden truck rammed into paramilitary Rangers compound, in city’s North Nazimabad area on Thursday morning, killing three personnel and leaving over a dozen people wounded.
The Mullah Fazlullah faction of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.
A portion of the building in the congested residential area collapsed because of the massive blast and inflicted widespread structural damage in the vicinity and ignited fire. The cloud of smoke and dust raised by the blast could be seen in areas several kilometres away.
According to police, around 150 kilograms of explosives had been used in the attack.
The explosion was heard in places as far away as Bahadurabad, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Nursery and PIDC, residents said.
The truck rammed the premises at around 6:56am when buses taking children to schools were preparing to leave, sources said.
The building which bore the brunt of the attack housed a workshop for repairing vehicles, officials said.
Two garment factories located across the road and a locality mostly of shanties also suffered considerable damage.
The injured were taken to nearby Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Of the 15 people taken to the hospital, 13 were Rangers’ personnel, a police sub-inspector who was passing through the area and two civilians.
“I was in the mess, after offering morning prayers, when I saw a speeding truck smashing through the gate and ramming into a tree. I was knocked out by a splinter,” said wounded sepoy Mohammad Anwer in the hospital.
The blast killed three Rangers’ personnel, Abdul Aziz, Imran Wali and Mohammad Khalid, on the spot.
A relatively small crater was formed at the scene of the blast and parts of several vehicles were found strewn over the place,” said SP Raja Umar Khattab of the Counter Terrorism Wing of CID.
He said the attack was similar to the one on the FIA building in Lahore in which a suicide bomber had driven his vehicle into the building after ramming through the gate.
The officer also said that Thursday’s attack appeared to have been carried out by a suicide bomber.
Quoting an initial report of the Bomb Disposal Unit, Additional IG of Karachi Iqbal Mehmood said around 150 kilograms of explosives had been used in the blast.
“A left foot bearing all five fingers, one finger of a hand and scalp of the suicide bomber have been found at the place,” SP Investigation West Noman Siddiqui said.
A spokesman for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan of the Maulana Fazlullah faction claimed responsibility for the attack.
Sirajuddin Ahmad, speaking by telephone, said the attack was “revenge for the arrest, torture and killing of our people” by security forces in the region, said Reuters news agency.
Investigators deciphered particulars of the vehicle used in the blast and said it was a locally manufactured mini-truck “Adam”.
It transpired that the mini-truck had changed hands several times and investigators questioned some previous owners of the vehicle.
On Sept 18, a blast targeting the Dawoodi Bhora community took place when a motorcycle rigged with explosives blew up during evening rush hours, killing seven people.
Two days before Eid, an improvised explosive device (IED) was found near the KDA Chowrangi which was defused by police.