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KARACHI, Jan 14: A mysterious blast ripped through a convenience store at a petrol station in the Defence Housing Authority on Monday, wounding eight people.

Police said the incident took place at the filling station situated on Khayaban-i-Ittehad near Carlton Hotel within the jurisdiction of the Gizri police station.

The blast took place around 10.30am, followed by a fire. The wounded were taken to a nearby private hospital and later to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

Hospital sources said that one of the wounded, Hashmatullah, suffered serious burns and splinter injuries. A total of six wounded were taken to the JPMC. Most of them were discharged after treatment.

However, police seemed divided on the cause of the blast. The SSP-Clifton told the media that the explosion was caused when a freezer compressor burst. There were no traces of the explosives nor was any smell, SSP Javed Meher said.

However, an official of the bomb disposal unit said it seemed that some improvised explosive device was detonated there.

But all evidence was washed away when the fire was doused by the fire brigade.

However, a piece of evidence had been collected from the scene and would be sent for a forensic examination, the BD official said.

He pointed out that the fridge and freezers were not destroyed in the blast. However, three walls of the store were damaged.

Cracker blast

A cracker explosion at a fuel station in Surjani Town left an employee injured on Monday evening, police said.

They said that two men riding a motorcycle hurled a cracker at the filling station in Khuda ki Basti in Surjani Town and rode away. One of the employees of the outlet suffered minor injuries and was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for treatment.

The police said that although

the owner of the fuel station denied that he had received any extortion threat, the attack appeared to be related to a demand for protection money.