Landhi blast claims two lives
KARACHI, Dec 12: A powerful roadside bomb blast in Landhi’s Muzaffarabad Colony on Wednesday killed at least two men, including a policeman, and wounded nearly a dozen other persons that included two teenage sisters and a five-year-old boy.
The huge bang caused panic in the densely-populated areas housing low-income group residential localities and a number of commercial facilities neighbouring the city’s two largest industrial estates –– Korangi and Landhi.
“The bomb exploded a few minutes before sunset,” said area SP Dr Najeeb Khan. “It blew up on a footpath along the road a few yards from the restaurant. It’s a very busy area as people keep visiting the restaurant throughout the day coupled with round-the-clock traffic.”
He said two men — 40-year-old police constable Zahid Hussain and 35-year-old restaurant owner Sadiq Shah — died in the blast that also damaged the restaurant structure badly and severely affected two motorbikes parked outside the restaurant.
“The policeman was posted at the Shah Latif police station and was deployed here when the bomb exploded. The motive for the blast is not yet clear as there is no regular deployment of police or Rangers which could have been targeted neither is there any sensitive facility near the blast site,” said SP Khan.
People came out of their homes after the explosion that rocked Landhi town and was heard in neighbouring localities. After the blast site was spotted, a number of police and Rangers cordoned off the area while a number of ambulances and charity workers also rushed to the place to take the victims to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.
“We received two bodies and 10 injured,” said Dr Seemin Jamali, head of the JPMC’s accidents and emergencies section. “Two of the injured are critical and have undergone surgery. The victims suffered multiple wounds, including in their limbs, abdomens and chests.”
She said the wounded were identified as Muhammad Iqbal, Ashiq Hussain, Husna Najeeb and her elder sister Fatima Najeeb, Javed Manzoor, Noor-ul-Islam, Mohsin Bux, Muhammad Nawaz, Muhammad Suleman, Ghulam Ali and five-year-old Hunain Shah.
The investigators and bomb disposal squad teams found almost a foot deep crater at the blast site as well as ball bearings.
“We asses the total weight of the bomb was three kilograms,” said SP Mazhar Mashwani of the Sindh police’s crime investigation department. “We believe it was not properly planted, but placed in a shopper or a bag on the footpath. It was detonated through a remote-controlled device.”
He said the fresh incident was similar to the blasts witnessed outside Imambargahs in Orangi Town and Abbas Town as well as a roadside explosion in Malir during the first two weeks of Muharram. However, he said he was not sure about the motive for and target of the Landhi attack.
“But one thing is very clear. The banned outfits and people involved in these activities have been unable to target the main urban areas due to strict security measures and were targeting comparatively congested or suburban areas. It may take time to ascertain the motive for this particular attack,” said the SP.