Investigators say varsity blast intended to sabotage Pak-China ties

Published April 28, 2022
(Clockwise) Rangers and Karachi University security personnel check everyone who arrives at the Silver Jubilee Gate of the KU as stringent security measures are introduced on Wednesday. This breach in the KU boundary is not the only one as several such openings are present in the wall, posing a serious security threat. The crime scene at the Confucius Institute is barricaded to secure and protect the site from contamination.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
(Clockwise) Rangers and Karachi University security personnel check everyone who arrives at the Silver Jubilee Gate of the KU as stringent security measures are introduced on Wednesday. This breach in the KU boundary is not the only one as several such openings are present in the wall, posing a serious security threat. The crime scene at the Confucius Institute is barricaded to secure and protect the site from contamination.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

• Suicide bomber was not a KU student • FIR lodged against BLA militants • Police looking for bomber’s husband

KARACHI: Police on Wednesday launched an investigation into the suicide bombing at Karachi University Confucius Institute that claimed lives of three Chinese academics and their local van driver and caused injuries to four others, including one Chinese teacher, on Tuesday.

The Counter-Terrorism Depart­ment registered a case on behalf of the state at the Mobina Town police station on murder and terrorism charges against two commanders of the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

Officials believed that the motive of the attack was to sabotage Pakistan and China relations. They suspected the involvement of a foreign hostile agency.

CTD official Raja Umar Khattab said that the suicide bomber, identified as Shari Baloch alias Brimash, was born in Turbat in 1991. She was married and had two children.

Missing husband

He said that her husband, Dr Haibatan, originally hailed from Kech, was currently doing a public health course at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and was staying at a nearby five-star hotel. However, his wife lived in Gulistan-i-Jauhar with her children.

He said that she and her husband had left their places a week before the attack and the husband’s whereabouts were not known. Raids were being carried out to find the husband and other facilitators, he said.

The CTD official also clarified that the suicide bomber was not a student of KU. He said she got all her education up to university level in Balochistan and later she was employed as a government schoolteacher.

The officer added that the outlawed BLA had claimed responsibility for the attack and shared details about the attacker on their social media platforms.

Injured out of danger

Separately, SSP-East Syed Abdul Rahim Sherazi said the condition of all four injured persons, including one Chinese, was out of danger.

He said two Rangers personnel escorting the van of the Chinese faculty members suffered minor injuries. One private guard, Hamid, suffered injuries in the leg and face. Chinese teacher Wang Yuqing underwent surgery.

Additional Police Surgeon at the JPMC Dr Summaiya Syed said that four charred bodies and remains of a fifth person were brought to the hospital on Tuesday evening for a post-mortem examination.

She said that four bodies — two males and two females — were beyond recognition and 100pc burnt. Their multiple samples for DNA profiling were taken.

The police surgeon said that the “remains of the alleged suicide bomber included both lower legs (below knee), scalp with hair attached and some other body parts (muscles and skin)”. The DNA samples were collected from all parts.

The post-mortem reports were prepared and DNA samples dispatched to a Karachi University laboratory and they were waiting for results.

FIR lodged

According to the FIR lodged on the complaint of SHO Basharat Husain, he was performing his duty when he got information about an explosion inside the KU on Tuesday at 2pm. He rushed to the scene and saw that one van near the Confucius Institute and one motorbike of Rangers were completely destroyed in the blast.

He called fire brigade, bomb disposal squad, crime scene unit and ambulances. One completely burnt body was lying on the driver’s seat while three other burnt bodies were lying on rear seats of the van. At some distance, body pieces of woman, including two legs, one with ladies shoe, were also found, which were sent to the JPMC for autopsy.

The BDS team examined the place and collected four parcels of samples and came to the conclusion that it was a suicide bombing.

The complainant said through intelligence sources, he came to know that the banned BLA Majeed Brigade had claimed responsibility for the blast.

The SHO said BLA Majeed Brigade militant commanders Bashir Zaib and Rehman Gul and others were involved in the attack.

The BLA wanted to undermine relations between Pakistan and China and get publicity for their outlawed outfit through terrorist acts, the FIR added.

Furthermore, there was a strong possibility that a hostile foreign agency was also involved in it, it said.

Meanwhile, Sindh government spokesperson Barrister Murtaza Wahab announced Rs1 million as compensation for heirs of the van driver, Muhammad Khalid Nawaz, killed in the attack.

Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2022

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