KARACHI, Aug 7: At least eight persons, including three boys, were killed and over 24 others injured in a powerful bomb blast during a football match in Lyari early on Wednesday morning.
Officials said it appeared that the target was ‘known actors’ of the banned People’s Amn Committee who were watching the match.
“A motorcycle rigged with a bomb was parked outside a football stadium at Bizenjo Chowk in Kalakot. The bomb went off when the match was about to end. At least seven people were killed and 30 others wounded,” DIG South Zone Dr Ameer Sheikh said, adding that one of the injured later died.
He said six people with serious injuries were admitted to different hospitals while the rest discharged after treatment.
“Police are working on different aspects to determine the possible motive and identity of terrorists,” the DIG said. Most of the victims aged between 15 and 20 were football players or passers-by.
Bomb Disposal Squad official Mohammad Amir told Dawn that five to six kilograms of explosives were used and detonated by remote control. The motorcycle was parked outside the football stadium. “Technically, we call it uni-direction bomb,” he said, adding that all ball-bearings hit only one direction and caused maximum damage to human life only.
Mr Amir said only one motorcycle parked near the bomb-fitted bike was damaged in the explosion. He said that unlike the recent bomb attack on a judge of the Sindh High Court in which small or normal ball-bearings had been used, in the Lyari incident the terrorists used big ball-bearings, ostensibly to cause maximum damage.
He said the ball-bearings were mainly directed towards a place, where a few minutes before the explosion, provincial Minister for Katchi Abadis Javed Nagori was sitting in his car.
But a police officer involved in the investigation said Mr Nagori was not the main target because he had already left the place. “The real target was ‘known characters’ of the People’s Amn Committee who were watching the football match,” he said, adding that one activist of the committee, identified as Yasir Pathan, was among the dead.
He said investigators were focusing on three aspects -- a possible involvement of the banned Baloch Liberation Army as they alleged that the Lyari elements were “instrumental against them”; involvement of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi as the Amn Committee allegedly helped law-enforcement agencies in catching some activists of the LJ in Lyari after a recent bomb blast in Patel Para; and involvement of rivals of the Amn Committee.
Kalakot police officer Riaz said the motorcycle used in the blast had been stolen from the Ferozabad police station.
SHO Ferozabad Aurangzeb Khattak told Dawn that the motorcycle had been stolen from PECHS area in December last year. Its owner, Syed Salman, reported the incident to police but did not register an FIR.