KARACHI, April 26: At least four people, including a lady doctor, were killed and 56 others were injured when two buses carrying Pakistan Navy personnel came under bomb attacks here on Tuesday morning.
Most of the wounded are naval officers. The Taliban claimed responsibility and vowed more attacks on security forces, according to a Western news agency.
“Security forces will be targeted in the future as well, because they are killing their own people in Waziristan and elsewhere at the behest of the United States,” Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, who visited the scene of the attacks and hospital, told newsmen that the government had received intelligence reports about a potential terrorist attack.
The first bombing took place at around 7:20 am on the 7th Central Street outside the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan in the Defence Housing Authority Phase II where a bus carrying navy personnel was targeted. Police officials said a motorcycle rigged with explosives was used in the attack.
Dr Shazia Khan and Sub Lt Mohammad Iqbal were killed and 37 others were wounded. The injured were taken to the nearby PNS Shifa Hospital.
The bus was hit on the left side. Two private cars and nearby houses were also damaged by the blast.
Minutes later, another bus carrying Navy personnel was attacked on Northern Bypass in Baldia Town. Navy sailor Umar Farooq and civilian employee Mohammad Sharif were killed and 19 others were wounded.
The injured were taken to Murshid Hospital on the Hub River Road and later referred to PN Shifa Hospital.
Police said the explosives were planted on the road in the shape of boulders.
According to a handout issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (Navy), there were 50 personnel on the bus in the DHA and 35 on the second bus which was targeted in Baldia Town.
The buses had picked up the personnel to take them to work. Senior Navy officials visited PNS Shifa.
A detailed investigation has also been ordered by the Naval Headquarters.
In view of the terrorist threat, both the buses bore commercial registration plates, instead of Navy’s official registration.
It appeared that in both the attacks the assailants were in sight of the buses when they detonated the explosives, SSP Special Investigation Unit, Raja Umar Khattab told Dawn.
He said that around 5kg of explosives were used in the DHA attack and around 7 to 8kg in Baldia Town.
An unexploded bomb of around 10kg was found at the blast scene in Baldia Town. Bomb disposal personnel defused the bomb, which was laced with nuts. It was covered with cement to make it look like a boulder. The assailants failed to detonate it.
Police took into custody the wreckage of the motorcycle used in the DHA bombing.
Police officials said that during initial examination it was found that the engine and chassis numbers of the bike had be mutilated by grinding in order to destroy its identity but its registration plate was found at the scene.
Police were questioning a man who was picked up from New Karachi after being identified through the registration number of the motorcycle.
Addressing a press conference at the Chief Minister’s House after presiding over a high-level meeting on law and order, Interior Minister Rehman Malik disclosed that ‘good clues’ had been found about the twin blasts.
“We have found good clues and hopefully will nab the culprits,” he said.
He said the interior ministry was tracing all acts of terrorism and their roots with the assistance of intelligence agencies and police department.