officials scan the site of a bomb explosion in Karachi. – Photo by AFP
officials scan the site of a bomb explosion in Karachi. – Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Eight people including a young girl were killed when two bombs went off in a busy commercial area in Karachi on Tuesday, police and hospital officials said.

The bombs went off in quick succession in the usually crowded Hyderi Market in central Karachi during the evening rush hour, police officer Azam Khan said.

One bomb exploded near a dustbin and three minutes later another went off at the main parking lot in which about a dozen vehicles were damaged, he said.

“We suspect the bomb was planted in a car or a motorbike parked in the area.

“Casualties were caused by the second blast,” he added, confirming that the deceased included a nine-year-old girl. More than 18 others have been wounded.

Karachi city police chief Iqbal Mehmood said: “The blast occurred at a place from where we had recovered and safely defused a heavy bomb last month.

“I can’t say which terrorist organisation or individuals are behind this at this point of time,” he said, adding that investigations were ongoing.

The powerful blasts were heard several kilometres away, residents said.

The casualties were taken to the local Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

Doctor Mohammad Shafqat, confirming the toll, said: “We have received bodies of six blast victims.” He added that there were 18 injured, including three women and one child.

“We are compiling the figures of deaths and injured,” Provincial Health Minister Saghir Ahmed said, adding that emergency has been declared in all state run hospitals in the city.

One victim later succumbed to his wounds in the hospital during treatment.

“The blast was caused by an improvised explosive device carrying at least eight kilogrammes of explosives,” bomb disposal squad official Abdul Hameed said.

“Both bombs were planted, one was on a motorcycle and another on a pushcart abandoned nearby,” provincial police chief Fayyaz Laghari said.

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.

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