Karachi police avoid jumping to conclusion due to ‘similarities’ in recent blasts

Published May 18, 2022
Policemen stand guard at the scene of Monday’s blast targeting a police mobile in Kharadar on Tuesday.—INP
Policemen stand guard at the scene of Monday’s blast targeting a police mobile in Kharadar on Tuesday.—INP

KARACHI: While the Sindh chief minister admitted on Tuesday that the third bomb blast within three weeks in Karachi, in which a woman was killed and over a dozen people were injured on Monday night, was an intelligence failure, police investigators found “many striking similarities” between the last two explosions, but moving forward in their investigation cautiously and didn’t want to jump to any quick conclusion.

The officials, however, believed that it would be too early to suspect that a same group was behind the two attacks.

Unlike the past attacks, there was no word from any militant outfit to claim the responsibility of Monday’s Kharadar blast, but the investigators said that their process of investigation neither solely relied on ‘claims’ by any group, nor they were suspecting any group for the fresh assault at the initial stage of the probe.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for Kharadar explosion

First BLA and then SRA

First it was the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) that claimed the attack on Chinese teachers in University of Karachi last month and then the outlawed Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA) came up with the same message over social media platforms for the last week’s Saddar assault.

An investigator said: “The technology used in the Kharadar and Saddar blasts was almost similar. Both IEDs were detonated by remote controls functional within the radius of 50 metres. The only difference so far we have seen is the nature of explosives and make of the device. The Saddar IED was of quite conventional type, made with domestic techniques. The Kharadar attack was executed through more sophisticated device, which was usually developed commercially for different reasons.

“We assess that some 4.5kg and 5kg explosive material had been used in the last night attack. Both bombs used for attacks in a week had ball bearings to make them more lethal,” he said.

The investigators, meanwhile, spotted the owner of the motorbike used in the attack.

They said that doubts emerged when it turned out that the owner of the motorbike, a resident of Gulistan-i-Jauhar, had handed over the motorbike to his domestic servant before his death seven months ago.

“Now the servant has gone missing, which has raised suspicions,” said another official.

“He’s a resident of rural Sindh and he wasn’t even found in his ancestral home. So the efforts are under way and we are connecting the dots to explore every possible angle to determine the people and their motive behind the attack.”

Intelligence failure

Earlier at CM House, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah shared his thoughts when he was asked about the recent wave of terror in Karachi during a press conference. He sounded confident that the law and order in the province was under control, but accepted that anti-social and anti-state elements had started creating unrest.

“But, we would not allow them to achieve their nefarious designs,” he vowed.

Mr Shah said that when the Bolton Market incident took place he was in Abu Dhabi with PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto to offer condolences over the death of the ruler of the UAE.

“I cut my visit short and rushed back to Karachi,” he said and added that upon reaching at around 1.15am held an emergency meeting with law-enforcement officers concerned.

The CM said that he had told the policemen that it was intelligence failure that three incidents had taken place one after another.

He pointed out that when a terrorist carrying a bag entered Karachi University why her bag was not checked.

He said that the police would sensitise citizens to inform ‘15’ whenever they witness any suspicious activity.

“The police will talk to shopkeepers in the market to keep proper vigilance in their parking lots and install their private closed-circuit television camera system,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2022

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