KARACHI, May 21: Chinese engineers being driven through Clifton Block-1 on Tuesday escaped a major bomb attack as the explosive device targeting them ‘misfired’, said the Boat Basin police and a Bomb Disposal Squad official.
The botched attack came a day before Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives in Islamabad.
“Only a detonator exploded when the Chinese delegation were passing through the area,” said the BDS official.
“If the 10-kilo bomb had exploded, it would have caused much destruction in an area of 25 to 30 metres, engulfing the vehicles of the delegation and destroying oil tankers parked there,” said BDS official Ghulam Mustafa.
He said two detonators were installed with the explosive. One detonator was connected to the 10kg explosive material but the other was not properly installed. Thus it misfired, causing an initial minor explosion. If the main detonator attached to the bomb had been detonated with a remote control, it would have caused much destruction.
SSP South Nasir Aftab told Dawn that Chinese engineers working on the harbour were passing through the area when the small explosion occurred there.
“We have reason to believe that they were the possible target.”
The BDS team on receiving information from Boat Basin SHO Naseer Tanoli rushed to the area. They found that the bomb was kept in an iron pail concealed in a gunny bag. It was lying on the traffic island near the Chapal building on the two-way road. “It was locally made with highly explosive material,” said the official. It contained bolts, often used for ‘special targets’.
“When the Chinese delegation’s vehicles escorted by Rangers crossed the area, a small explosion was heard, which alerted the area police,” said Mr Mustafa.
On the examination of the site, the BDS team found the bucket split into three and lying on the main road leading to Shirin Jinnah Colony and the explosion material spread there.
“We realised that it was a detonator explosion only,” said the official. When the detonator exploded, the bomb-rigged bucket blew up, landed on the main road and broke up into three pieces. The bolts also broke into pieces. “Such tactics are used for roadside bombing through a remote control,” said the BDS official.
Junk dealer injured
A junk dealer, Munir Ahmed Shah, and his son Asif sustained minor injuries when a shell exploded in their shop in the Sukhan area.
The police detained Khan Muhammad Khaskheli, a fisherman. They said the fisherman had sold 14 shells to the scrap shop located on Rerhi Road in Lalabad.
The junk dealer was examining the shells when one of them went off. The police said such shells were used by fishermen as flares when in distress in deep sea.