— File photo
HYDERABAD: Two powerful blasts rocked Hyderabad on Friday at around 4.45am, one at the boundary wall of office of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Hyderabad and the other at a railway track in Hussainabad. Both the explosions were heard far and wide.
The first blast took place between 4.40am to 4.45am damaging a portion of the boundary wall of SSP office Hyderabad. A four-feet portion of the wall that faces the Government Model School was also damaged.
The ceiling of the adjacent Umer Islam Mosque was also damaged and same was the case with the old campus building whose clock tower, windowpanes of halls and buses of Sindh University were smashed by the explosion’s impact.
“We had just ended the prayers and came out of the mosque when the blast took place. I felt as if it was an earthquake,” said Syed Ashraf Ali, who lives a nearby street in the same area.
No casualties were reported in either blast.
A large number of residents, policemen and Rangers rushed to the spot. Police prevented onlookers from going forward to see the site. Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) officials examined the area and BDS official Saleem Vistro said the bomb weighed three kilograms.
“It was a heavy explosive device that was attached with a detonator and planted outside the boundary wall,” he said.
He added that a haze of smoke filled the area for a considerable period of time.
A visit to the site revealed that the bomb was planted outside the boundary wall on the footpath and the debris of the wall’s portion fell inside the SSP office. District police’s Estate Management Office (EMO) is located inside the boundary wall where the major damage occurred. Windowpanes and a portion of the ceiling were also damaged in the meeting room of the SSP’s office and the kitchen.
“There was a smell of explosives in the entire area,” said Saleem Vohra, a traders’ leader who also rushed to the spot after hearing the explosion.
He said windowpanes of a number of houses were also damaged by the impact of the blast.
SSP Hyderabad Saqib Ismail Memon told Dawn.com that it was only one blast that had hit the SSP’s office wall. He said he was not sure about the second explosion, adding that although he had visited the railway track in Hussainabad, he could not find any traces of the explosion.
“There was a rumour about a second blast in Qasimabad but it could not be confirmed,” he said.
He admitted that there were similarities between Friday’s blast and those that had taken place previously in the city.
He, however, said that “it would be premature to say who did it”.
The SSP confirmed that an FIR was lodged at the Cantonment police station regarding the blast.
“We will obviously strengthen our surveillance system and install closed-circuit TV cameras,” he said.