RAWALPINDI: The Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) is investigating an incident on Adiala Road in which firecrackersinjured four people, one of them critically.

A senior police official said the CTD will likely register a case under the Anti-Terrorism Act. The police had previously claimed the incident was a shooting.

One of the victims, Asif Haidri, was taken to a hospital and then referred to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences with head injuries. He was shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) on Sunday.

The other three victims were treated for multiple injuries at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and discharged on Sunday.

Four people were injured, one critically, firecrackers caused minor damage to the road and a nearby car

A police official told Dawn on the condition of anonymity that motorcyclists lobbed two firecrackerson Adiala Road, injuring four people and causing some minor damage including a burst tyre on a car parked nearby.

“At one spot there was a very small half-inch deep crater, and at another spot there was a shallow, one-foot wide crater,” the police official, who visited the site, said.

No ball bearings or metal nails were found at the scene, he said, explaining that the explosive in the firecrackers uprooted pieces of concrete from the road, which hit people and cars in the form of splinters.

He said police and bomb disposal experts found pieces of concrete blackened by the smoke emitted from the explosive.

The police, led by the senior superintendent of police investigation and Potohar superintendent of police were at the site until late at night collecting information.

Noman Shaukat, a laboratory technician who was injured in the incident, told Dawn he had parking his motorcycle on Adiala Road when the explosion occurred behind him.

“I heard the sound of blast but could not see what had happened. I suffered injuries to my thighs,” Mr Shaukat said, adding doctors told him to come for a check-up after five days’ rest.

Mohammad Ijaz was on his way home from Saddar and had reached Khawaja Corporation Chowk when there was an explosion on the main road. He said he thought the crackers were rain, and that his motorcycle’s tyres were punctured.

Mr Ijaz said he received first aid from a nearby clinic before being taken to BBH.

“I suffered injuries to my feet, legs and chest,” he said, adding that he was stable but doctors asked him to come in for a consultation after five days.

College student Mohammad Yousaf was passing through when two explosions occurred simultaneously and he was injured by flying pieces of concrete. He said he was discharged from the hospital after being administered first aid.

Senior police and intelligence officials visited hospitals and took preliminary statements from the victims. The police have also obtained CCTV footage that shows a motorcyclist throwing firecrackersand a small cloud of smoke moving upwards.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2020