KARACHI: A bomb blast outside a mosque on New Preedy Street in Saddar on Friday noon killed at least two people and injured two others, according to police and hospital officials.
One of the two deceased or both might be transporting the improvised explosive device attached with steel nails on a motorcycle when it exploded due to mishandling, believed police sources.
The bomb, weighing between two and four kilograms, exploded due to ‘mishandling’ according to initial report of investigation, Karachi police chief Ghulam Qadir Thebo told Dawn.
He said it seemed that the mosque, Jamia Masjid Muhajir Makki, and its neighbouring seminary, Mahd-ul-Irshad Islami Madressah, were not the actual target.
The police sources said that the possible target could be the nearby rally of a religious group, Jamaatud Da’awa, and the bomb exploded on a moving motorbike due to some mishandling.
A police official who wished not to be named also told Dawn that the possible target could be a rally organised by Jamaatud Da’awa at the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, as its offices and properties had been recently targeted with planted bombs at Nipa, old Sabzi Mandi and Gulshan-i-Hadeed. The blast was so powerful that it damaged the glasses of the unused multi-storey Parking Plaza across the road and destroyed two motorbikes.
CID police counter-terror chief Raja Umer Khattab said that it emerged during the initial investigation that it was not suicide bombing. “No suicide jacket was found at the blast site,” he said.
He said the police investigators were treating both the deceased as possible suspects, because the bodies were badly damaged and both sustained wounds caused by explosive material on their right side of the bodies.
“It is yet to be ascertained as to whether they were riding separate motorbikes or one motorbike,” the CID chief added.
Identity of the deceased
“We received one body in fragmented pieces while the other body though badly damaged was intact,” said police surgeon Dr Jalil Qadir.
He said the right arm as well as the right side of the head and brain substance were missing. However, the body’s left side was intact that could help the investigators to identify him.
The other body, which was relatively in a better position despite fractured limbs and chest and abdomen exposed, was identified as that of Abdul Fatah Dahiri, because the face was intact and recognisable.
The police said one of the deceased was identified as Abdul Fatah Dahiri, originally hailing from Daulatpur, Nawabshah, and resident of Khandu Goth, Nazimabad. They quoted his wife as telling the police that he used to leave home in the morning as he dealt in mobile phones and return home at night.
However, a hospital official said the brother of the deceased who arrived at the JPMC mortuary to receive the body told the hospital administration that Dahiri ran a video shop in Khandu Goth.
An official at the Brigade police station said one of the destroyed motorbikes was owned by a resident of Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Amir Sultan, and the police investigators were trying to ascertain as to whether the other motorbike belonged to him or to the critically wounded, Maqsood, who was riding it.
Maqsood was being operated upon at the JPMC where he was not in a position to speak, he said.
The other wounded person was identified as Mohammed Khan, a fruit vendor, who was discharged from hospital after being given first aid. He told the police that he was selling fruit to car riders when he heard the explosion.
The area was cordoned off following the blast. There was a crowd of onlookers besides ambulances and media crew at the scene. With the impact of the blast, windows of the Parking Plaza across the road were broken.
Blood-stained mangoes were spread over the road outside Jamia Masjid Muhajir Makki (named after Haji Imdadmullah Muhajir Makki) and Madressah Mahd-ul-Irshad Islami (named after Maulana Irshad Ahmed Shaheed) after the blast.
“Look at all the pieces of flesh scattered all over the place. We found a human skull stuck to the wall there,” said a Chhipa volunteer, Abdul Hameed.
“This can only happen to the one carrying the bomb,” he said.
Besides the two motorbikes, a dark green Cultus showered in blood was parked near the blast site.
The car belonged to two brothers, Mohammad Saad and Adnan, who weren’t sure what they should do about it. “I’m manager at a Meezan Bank branch nearby. My brother and I only stopped for a few minutes here to buy some fruit for Iftar when the blast occurred. We just got down. Now we have gathered some courage to come forward and ask the officers here if we can take our car,” said Mr Saad, while speaking to Dawn.
His brother, Adnan, said that they were also hesitant to come forward as they wondered if they would be included in the suspects somehow.
Mohammad Asif, a resident of Lines Area, said he rushed to the location on hearing the blast. “Everyone was running helter-skelter. These surveillance cameras if they are working must have recorded the entire thing,” he said.
Outside the mortuary
Mohammad Azeem, a KKF ambulance driver outside the mortuary of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, said that the bodies were in pieces and beyond recognition. “There is a fruit vendor whose remains they have been put together to identify him and there is the fellow with whose motorbike perhaps the bomber collided. His torso and legs are here with motorcycle parts stuck in the flesh. The other parts of his body were in the police station.”
Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2014