KARACHI: Three people were killed and around 40 others, including children, were injured in yet another Taliban militant attack on Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Karachi’s Azizabad neighbourhood on Saturday night, DawnNews reported.
An election office of the party was the target of the two separate blasts. The office was situated near the MQM headquarters Nine-Zero in Azizabad.
The explosions were heard from far distances and spread fear among the local residents. Nearby buildings and vehicle were damaged while power outage was also reported in the area after the incident.
Injured were shifted to different hospitals including Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in the violence-ridden metropolis, which is the financial hub of the country. A camera man and a driver of DawnNews crew along with three Rangers soldiers were among the injured.
Security agencies cordoned off the area but not before the second explosion targeted rescue activities after the first bomb blast, said eye witnesses.
The bomb disposal squad had also been called in the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital amid reports of yet another planted bomb there. However, no explosive devices were found from the hospital vicinity.
Speaking to a private TV channel, MQM leader Wasay Jalil said the explosions occurred near the party's sector office in Azizabad locality. He said several party activists are among the injured.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility of the attack. Speaking to Dawn.com via telephone from an undisclosed location, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said the target was MQM and both bombings were carried out through planted devices.
The MQM, however, has vowed to not bow down to the terrorists. Speaking to DawnNews, the party's leader, Haider Abbas Rizvi said that MQM has been targeted by forces which do not wish to see it coming into power. "We will continue with our election campaign and no one can deter us from our fundamental right of partaking in polls," he said.
More than 70 people have been killed and around 350 injured in the ongoing militant attacks on electioneering of certain political parties across the country since April 11.
The outlawed TTP has vowed to target the secular political parties of the country, naming Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP) and MQM in the run up to the coming general elections.
The historic May 11 polls will witness the first ever democratic transition of power in Pakistan.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has announced to observe a day of mourning across the Sindh province on Sunday. Transporters and business owners are urged to keep their offices closed throughout the day tomorrow, said a statement from the party's Rabita (coordination) Committee.