KARACHI, Jan 5: Half a dozen shops were destroyed and some roadside stalls near a market in the SITE area were damaged early Saturday morning in a powerful explosion that police blamed on an organised group involved in extortion.
The bomb went off with a huge bang at around 6:30am, sowing fear into the neighbourhood.
No one was hurt in the explosion. Weighing nearly three kilos, the bomb was planted outside a medical store in Metroville Bazaar in Metroville No 5, police investigators said.
“Six shops were badly hit and same was the fate of some roadside stalls,” said Site-A SHO Inspector Rao Rafiq.
“Our patrol party was first to reach the site. They informed the bomb disposal unit and area police.”
After an initial examination, the bomb disposal unit reported that nearly three kilos of explosive was used in the improvised explosive device, which was detonated by a remote control.
The police suspected that the medical store owned by area leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) was the prime target.
The explosion left a two-foot-deep crater at the blast site, where a parked car was also damaged. The police said the medical store, which was owned by the PS-93 ANP president Zakir Hanif, was destroyed in the attack.
Later, Sindh ANP General Secretary Bashir Jan visiting the blast site condemned the attack and said it seemed part of efforts to harass his workers.
“Only a couple of months ago, a younger brother of Zakir Hanif had received a call demanding Rs2 million,” he said. “The complaint was lodged at the local police station but in vain. It’s highly alarming that terrorists, whatever names they use, have no fear of the law-enforcement agencies and execute their plans without facing any resistance.”
The Site-A police later registered an FIR (7/2013) under Sections ¾ of the Explosives Act and 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act against unidentified suspects on a complaint of Mr Hanif.