KARACHI, Feb 18: A complete strike was observed in the city and other parts of Sindh on Monday on a call given by the Shia Ulema Council and Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen in protest against the Quetta carnage, with closure of markets, educational institutions and suspension of legal proceedings in courts.

The protest, which was backed by traders, lawyers, transporters and several political parties, including the Sunni Ittehad Council and Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam-F, resulted in disrupting road, rail and air traffic as sit-ins were organised at a number of places across the province.

Late in the evening, a bomb blast ripped through one of the protest venues, near the FTC building in Karachi, shortly after a daylong sit-in ended there.

Police said the IED had been planted beneath the FTC flyover closer to the Christian cemetery. No casualty was reported in the blast, but a crater was created at the place.

“The IED weighed around 2 kg and the explosive was laced with ball bearings, however it was not clear if a remote control device or cellphone was used in the explosion,” SP Counter Terrorism Cell of CID, Raja Umar Khattab, told Dawn.

“It seems to have been planted to terrorise the participants of a sit-in which was being held at the FTC intersection,” he said.

Participants of the sit-in were vacating the intersection when the explosion took place, police said.

Another low-intensity blast took place near Banaras area, shortly after the FTC explosion. No casualty was reported in the incident. The explosion took place outside the house of one Hussain Bhai.

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