An honour guard marches past flag-draped caskets of policemen who were killed in a suicide attack one day earlier, during their funeral services in Karachi.—Reuters

KARACHI: The possibility that at least a few terrorists managed to escape from their bomb-and-gun attack scene on the CID Centre in Karachi on Thursday night has gained credence after several witnesses said that terrorists had another vehicle waiting for them besides the explosives-packed truck used in the devastating strike.

As many as 17 people were killed and over 100 injured in the attack.

Rescue workers retrieved the body of a nine-year-old girl from beneath the rubble on Friday morning. The girl’s two paternal uncles are in police.

“A Shezore or a larger Mazda truck laden with explosives was used in the blast and terrorists used a Prado jeep, whose occupants first killed guards posted at the CID gate, clearing the way for the truck to enter the building,” a senior police officer, summing up different witness accounts, told Dawn.

An investigator who didn’t want to be named said witnesses’ accounts suggested that terrorists had come to the CID Office through the Beaumont Road from the M.T. Khan Road.

“There is a fair chance that some of the attackers might have escaped from the scene in the Prado jeep,” an investigator told Dawn.

Relying on witnesses’ accounts, investigators said the Prado first appeared on the scene and its occupants engaged guards posted at the CID offices.

Similarly, an occupant of the truck also came out and took part in the firing on the guards posted at the gate.

The footage of close circuit cameras installed at the Chief Minister House, two five-star hotels and at the PIDC traffic signal has been collected and is being examined.

A clip from the CCTV footage of a five-star hotel aired by a TV channel, showed a Shehzore truck pass through the area at 7:40pm. But investigators contested that this was not the vehicle used in the blast as the strike took place 40 minutes later at 8.20pm.

It could have been another truck passing through the area, another police official said.

Officials of different investigating agencies, including Special Investigation Group (SIG) of FIA, visited the crime scene on Friday morning to collect evidence.

FORENSIC EVIDENCE The forensic evidence was badly spoiled by the onslaught of media personal and unconcerned people at the crime scene.

Moreover, officials of different law-enforcement agencies who visited the crime scene after the blast took away evidence along with them, forcing CID officials to request all agencies to return whatever piece of evidence they had picked up.

Sources at the Forensic Division told Dawn that they had not collected any evidence from the scene and all “we are doing are collection of remains of the vehicle used in the blast and verification of vehicles found at the crime scene”.

Sources said that even spent casings of bullets could not be collected.

An FIR under the Anti-Terrorist Act was lodged with the Artillery Maidan Police Station on behalf of the state.

A special investigation team, headed by Additional CID IG Saud Mirza and comprising SSP CID Fayyaz Khan, SSP CID Omar Shahid and SSP Raja Omar Khattab, has been formed to investigate the attack.

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