2 Rangers personnel martyred, 1 injured in 3 separate attacks

Published June 19, 2020
Three people have been injured in the blast that took place near a Rangers van parked in a market area. — AP/File
Three people have been injured in the blast that took place near a Rangers van parked in a market area. — AP/File

​Two Rangers officials were martyred and one injured in three separate attacks in Ghotki, Karachi and Larkana each, on Friday.

In a blast that took place near a meat shop in Ghotki, two Rangers officials and a civilian lost their lives. According to Senior Superintendent of Police Farrukh Lunjar, the blast took place near a Rangers van that was parked in a market. At least three people were injured in the blast. 

The area was cordoned off by police and Rangers, the SSP said, adding that investigations were under way. 

The martyred officials were identified as Zahoor Ahmed and Fayyaz Ahmed while the civilian was identified as Ghulam Mustafa. According to the police, Zahoor and Fayyaz regularly bought meat from the shop. It is not yet clear if the attack was targeted.

The deceased as well as the injured were taken to Civil Hospital. The nature of the blast has yet to be ascertained.

A team of the bomb disposal squad was dispatched from Sukkur but had a road accident near Ghotki, said group officer Qadir Baksh. Three officials have been injured and were shifted to a nearby hospital. 

Separately, a man lost his life while a Rangers personnel Munawar was injured in a hand grenade attack, Additional Inspector General (AIG) Ghulam Memon Nabi said. The attack took place near a centre of the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme in Karachi's Liaquatabad area, police said.

Seven others have also been injured, in what was earlier termed as a cracker explosion. 

When asked about the possible motives of the attack, Nabi said that the police had "some clues" but could not share it with the media at this stage. He said that the police were investigating the incident.

Shortly after reports of explosions in Ghotki and Karachi emerged, a cracker explosion also took place in Larkana outside a public school, where a Rangers van was parked. There were no casualties, police said.

Police and Rangers cordoned off the area soon after the explosion. 

Counter-Terrorism Department official Raja Umer Khattab said that the primary target of the attacks was Rangers and added that the claims made by a Sindhi sub-nationalist group were being investigated. 

After the attacks, a tweet was posted by a relatively unknown account said that a Sindhi nationalist group had claimed responsibility for the explosions.

Inquiry ordered

Prime Minister Imran Khan said he had asked for an investigation into the incidents so that those responsible can be brought to justice.

Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had already ordered an inquiry into the Ghotki blast.

The chief minister also took notice of the explosion in Larkana and ordered that a preliminary investigation report be submitted within two days.

"What are the motives behind the incidents in Ghotki and Larkana? An all-round inquiry should be conducted and an initial report should be submitted within two days," he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the CM House.

Presiding over a meeting later in the day, the chief minister directed law enforcement agencies to strengthen coordinated efforts to curb elements trying to take benefit of the government's focus being diverted towards tackling the coronavirus outbreak.

He directed officials to launch an intelligence-based operation against criminals in each district and to intensify patrolling, a statement from the CM House said.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail also condemned the attacks on Twitter and said: "Rangers have been a symbol of peace in our province, it is very sad & heartbreaking to see our heroes being cowardly attacked costing loss of lives."

Security alert in the province

Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that attacks on security forces were "acts of cowardice". He added that a strict security alert has been issued in the province. 

He paid tribute to the security forces for their "endless sacrifices" and promised that those responsible for the attacks will be arrested soon. 

PPP leader Wahab condemned the attacks in Ghotki and Karachi and said: "The elements involved in this heinous incident will be arrested soon.

"We will not let the sacrifices  made by Rangers, police and law enforcement agencies to establish peace in the province, go in vain."

Wahab declared that the attacks were a "conspiracy to ruin the peace in the province".

PPP leader Nisar Khuhro also issued a condemnation and demanded that the culprits be held accountable.

Additional input by Azhar Sarki.

Opinion

Shared city
26 Jan 2021

Shared city

Karachi is not a city ‘created by everybody’.
Back to governance
Updated 25 Jan 2021

Back to governance

While PDM has continued efforts to mount political pressure, it has been unable to force a crisis to challenge the PTI government.

Editorial

Pakistan-US ties
Updated 26 Jan 2021

Pakistan-US ties

The US remains the world’s most powerful country, one Pakistan cannot afford to ignore.
26 Jan 2021

NAB not impartial

NAB CHAIRMAN retired justice Javed Iqbal has claimed that his organisation is an unbiased anti white-collar-crime...
26 Jan 2021

Pakistan-South Africa series

IN what is seen as a rare instance, Pakistan start as the underdogs on their home turf when they take on South ...
Updated 25 Jan 2021

Where the buck stops

The rights to due process and security of person are accorded to every individual in this country.
25 Jan 2021

PPP’s plan?

THE PDM faces a fresh crisis as the PPP takes a conspicuously soft position on the long march. While the PDM talks ...
25 Jan 2021

Forward guidance

THE State Bank has taken the unusual step of issuing a forward guidance in its latest monetary policy statement to...