LARKANA / SUKKUR: Nine members of a family, including five children, were killed and two others injured when a rocket shell went off inside their house at Bangi Khan village in Kandhkot on Wednesday, police said.
According to preliminary reports, some children were out grazing cattle when they found a live rocket shell. They brought it home, where it went off, causing casualties.
Varying accounts emerged as to how the device exploded.
In a report, SSP Kashmore-Kandhkot Mir Rohal Khan Khoso said children were playing with the shell in the house when it went off with a big bang, shaking the area.
On the other hand, villagers claimed the children were trying to break the shell into pieces to sell them when it exploded.
While talking to Dawn, Larkana DIG Javed Soonharo Jiskani termed it an accident.
The police, accompanied by members of bomb disposal squad and forensic experts, rushed to the scene of the tragedy to collect evidence.
Police cordoned off the locality and launched an investigation into the incident, but sources attributed the presence of the shell in the area to the ongoing dispute between the Sundrani and Sawand tribes. During the fighting, the two sides have used different weapons, including rocket launchers, in the past.
SSP Khoso said the house — located in the limits of Goghat police station — belonged to Ali Nawaz Sabzoi, and that all the deceased and injured belonged to the same family.
Blast shocks Baqar
The caretaker Chief Minister of Sindh, Justice Maqbool Baqar, while taking notice of the incident, sought a report from the provincial inspector general on “how a rocket launcher reached the Zangi Sabzoi Goth”, Dawn.com reported.
“Was any stock of weapons being smuggled to the kutcha (riverine) areas? Are there enablers of the dacoits present in the goth (village)?” he asked.
In a statement, Mr Baqar wondered how the rocket launcher shell exploded, leading to a “loss of lives to this extent”.
Those killed were identified as Niaz Ahmed Sabzoi, Ayaz Ahmed, Zubair, 4; Rukhsana, 2; Qurban, 3; Rashid, 4; Shahzado, 5; Haneefa, and Khadija. One of the injured was identified as Shaista Sabzoi.
Mr Khosa said the injured were taken to hospital and the deceased to the Kandhkot civil hospital where emergency was declared.
He said police were investigating the incident and trying to know how the shell reached there.
Later, funeral prayer was performed at Sabzoi village which was attended by a large number of people.
Last week, the Sindh Apex Committee (SAC) — a forum of civil and military officials — reviewed the law and order situation in the riverine areas of the province, and approved and finalised details of an operation to be launched by police and Rangers against the dacoit gangs in the affected districts of upper Sindh, Dawn.com reported.
The SAC was told that Rangers had been deployed along with police in those districts and a crackdown on organised weapon smuggling had resulted in the seizure of the first cache of military-grade weapons in Ghotki.
Incidents where children were said to be “playing with” similar dangerous objects have also occurred in the past.
Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2023