• Facilitators of militants come in CTD focus
• Police yet to identify suicide bomber

KARACHI: While investigators are unable to find a breakthrough in the probe into Friday’s suicide bombing in the metropolis, they are focussed on finding those who facilitated the gruesome attack, it emerged on Saturday.

Five Japanese travelling in a van escaped the suicide attack but their private security guard was killed in Landhi’s Mansehra Colony.

The investigators said that the police had recovered a motorcycle and a cell phone from the scene of crime.

“Some raids have been conducted to pick up the last owner of the motorbike as well as the seller of the cell phone and the SIM card found from one of the attackers,” said an official, adding: “However, no arrest has been made so far.”

DIG-East Azfar Mahesar told Dawn that the Counter-Terrorism Department of the Sindh police was conducting the investigations.

Sources said that an FIR regarding the Saturday attack was yet to be lodged.

The sources said the CTD sleuths were focusing on finding facilitators of the killed militants.

The investigators said the blast did not cause much damage to anyone as most of its impact was absorbed by a passing van.

While the officials said no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, they are certain about the involvement of Baloch insurgent groups in the suicide bombing against the foreigners.

They said that the identification of the suicide bomber could not be made. However, another attacker was identified as Sohail Ahmed, a resident of Panjgur, who had reportedly joined the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) in 2021. The sources said the law enforcers were focusing on ‘facilitators’ of the killed militants.

Inspector Abid Farooq of the Bomb Disposal Squad, who had examined the blast site and submitted a report to authorities, told Dawn when the bomber blew himself up, a Suzuki van carrying freshly baked bread came in the middle of the road and absorbed most of the impact of the blast.

He said that bomber was wearing a suicide jacket containing around four to five kilogrammes of explosives. It contained a significant number of small metal balls of ball bearings but much of the metal balls hit the lower portion of the van.

He said the young driver of van remained safe while the vehicle was damaged.

All five foreigners traveling in the Hiace remained safe, but their private security guard Noor Mohammed suffered injuries and died during treatment at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

The deceased, father of a child, belonged to Sanghar district where his coffin was taken for burial.

Although the bomber’s accomplice, Sohail Ahmed, resorted to indiscriminate firing after taking shelter in cement blocks and gravel lying there on the road, none of the three victims suffered bullet wounds.

Police Surgeon Summaiya Syed said that the security guard died due to the shrapnel wounds to his skull.

Similarly, the two other injured people Langar Khan, 40, and Salman, 25, suffered bomb shrapnel injuries on different parts of their bodies.

The police surgeon said that Langar Khan was discharged after treatment from the JPMC while Salman, who worked at Port Qasim Authority, was taken to Aga Khan University Hospital for further treatment by his employers. Dr Summaiya Syed said both injured persons were stable.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2024

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