IED blast leaves one dead, seven injured in Rawalpindi

Published December 5, 2020
POLICE investigators collect evidence from the blast site in the Pirwadhai area
on Friday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star
POLICE investigators collect evidence from the blast site in the Pirwadhai area on Friday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star

RAWALPINDI: An improvised explosive device went off outside a general store in the Pirwadhai area on Friday, leaving one person dead and seven others injured.

The blast triggered fire in an auto-rickshaw parked outside the shop and caused considerable damage to the Usman General Store.

Police and emergency service 1122 were called to the area at around 1.15pm whose personnel quickly extinguished the fire and took the injured to Holy Family Hospital. The condition of one of the injured was stated to be serious.

According to an initial report of bomb disposal experts, the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device weighing half to one kilogram and packed with ball-bearings and some shrapnel.

The device, weighing half to one kilogram, was packed with ball-bearings and shrapnel, according to bomb disposal experts

Three people injured in the blast were sitting in the auto-rickshaw parked outside the general store, situated some 300 metres from the Pirwadhai police station, and were sipping tea when the explosion occurred.

They were all hit by flying ball-bearings and shrapnel and the auto-rickshaw caught fire. Later, one of the injured, Afzal Khan, died.

Other injured included some passersby and others standing outside the general store. The sound of the blast was heard hundreds of metres away.

The injured were identified as Muhammad Bilal, 26; Qasim Khan, 18; Abdur Rehman, 77; Zaheer Khan, 19; Alauddin, 28; Ibrahim, 19; and Abdul Manan, 25.

According to witnesses, chaotic scenes were witnessed in front of the shop as nobody knew what had actually happened.

Abdul Manan, a university student, told Dawn by telephone from the hospital bed that he, along with his friend, was passing through the area on a motorcycle when the explosion occurred.

“Everybody panicked. I just heard a loud bang and then saw the injured people lying on the road, screaming,” Mr Manan said. He said that while moving, “I felt something had hit me. As I stopped the motorcycle, I saw blood coming out of my belly as I was also hit by some shrapnel”.

Traffic on the road remained suspended for hours after a large number of policemen blocked the area to let bomb disposal experts and officials of the Counter Terrorism Department collect evidence from the scene of the blast.

Initially, officials of rescue services didn’t give the cause of the explosion, but the superintendent of Rawal Town police confirmed that the blast was caused by a locally-made explosive device.

SP Mazhar said that eight people were injured in the explosion and one of them, 60-year-old Afzal Khan, a resident of Hazara Colony, died while seven others were injured.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2020

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