CTD begins probe as CM Murad terms Quaidabad blast a 'conspiracy to sabotage peace'

18 Nov 2018

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Clothes from roadside vendors strewn about at the site of the blast. —DawnNewsTV
Clothes from roadside vendors strewn about at the site of the blast. —DawnNewsTV

Police have launched an investigation into the roadside blast in Karachi's Quaidabad area, which claimed the lives of two teenagers and caused injuries to a dozen other people late on Friday night.

The probe was launched by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) after it took over the investigation from the local police.

The two teenagers were killed and 12 others, most of whom were vendors, sustained injuries when a bomb planted under a vendor’s cart went off on near the Quaidabad flyover.

The dead and the wounded were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

Ten injured persons were discharged after being administered first aid, said JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali.

Two others with serious injuries were admitted for treatment. One of them sustained injuries on his head but his condition is improving now. The second person’s leg was amputated to save his life as he was badly hurt in the blast and he was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, Dr Jamali told Dawn.

One of the deceased teenagers, Ali Hasan’s funeral was held in the city on Saturday which was attended by politicians and officials. He was stated to be the only brother of seven sisters.

Preliminary findings

Sources familiar with the preliminary investigation of the case said the modus operandi and type of explosive material used in the blast indicated the involvement of "sub-nationalist groups", which may belong to either Sindh or Balochistan.

Speaking about the possible motive of the explosion, a security official on condition of anonymity told Dawn that it has been observed that Sindhi or Baloch sub-nationalist groups tend to carry out terrorist acts on soft targets just “to make their presence felt” whenever an important day or event was expected to take place.

According to sources, the detonated bomb was a remote-controlled device that contained around two kilogrammes of explosive material.

Law enforcement personnel also seized another improvised explosive device from the crime scene which was defused by the police’s Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) unit. It was also a remote-controlled device that contained around 2kg of explosive material.

The security official said they suspected that the second bomb was planted to cause maximum damage to human lives when law enforcers were supposed to arrive there to inspect the site, but fortunately, it was defused by bomb experts in a timely manner.

'Govt making efforts to maintain law and order'

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah earlier today visited the JPMC and inquired about the health of people injured in the Quaidabad blast. He directed the hospital administration to provide better health facilities to the wounded persons.

Talking to reporters, Shah said incidents such as the explosion were a "conspiracy to sabotage peace".

He said he has sought an immediate report into the incident from the Sindh inspector general of police. He believed that the kind of explosive material used in the blast would be determined after proper inquiry.

Shah claimed that the provincial government was making concerted efforts to maintain law and order and such incidents were aimed at destroying the peace.

To a question about the lack of an adequate forensic lab in Sindh, the chief minister said he hoped that such a facility would be established in the province soon.

Meanwhile, Sindh IGP Dr Syed Kaleem Imam appreciated the performance of 12 BDS and CTD officials for timely disposal of the second bomb at Quaidabad flyover and announced a cash reward of Rs50,000 for each personnel.

While regretting the loss of life and injuries caused by the blast, the Sindh police chief vowed that the culprits would be taken to task soon.