KARACHI, April 27: There was no let-up in Karachi’s torment on Saturday as faceless killers mocked the government’s indecisiveness by terrorising two of the three political parties they have placed on their hit list. A little girl and two men died while 43 other people were injured when two blasts targeted an office of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in Qasba Colony while a third hit a corner meeting of a Peoples Party candidate in Lyari.
Twenty-four people have died in six blasts and incidents of firing since Tuesday.
Police said a bomb planted outside a party office of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in Qasba Colony went off at about 9.35pm and in the space of a couple of minutes unidentified men hurled a hand-grenade outside an Imambargah in the same vicinity. Deputy Superintendent of Police, Zahid Hussain, said an explosive device, which he suspected was timed, triggered outside a unit office of the MQM.
The explosion severely damaged the unit office, a house and five shops located nearby and several cars and motorcycles in the congested and impoverished locality, where the MQM has its powerbase.
Eyewitnesses said the unit office had been closed early this week after a bomb attack on MQM workers in People’s Chowrangi. However, several people were sitting nearby who had to bear the brunt.
Mr Hussain said at least one man died and several others injured. Officials in Abbasi Shaheed and Qatar hospitals said the number of injured was 27 in this blast.
A hand-grenade, in the meantime, had been hurled outside Imambargah, Masjid Ali Raza, located in the same vicinity, which injured seven more people, hospital officials confirmed.
The blast sent a shockwave among the party leadership prompting it to call for the third ‘day of mourning’ on Sunday. The city had witnessed two complete strikes on Wednesday and Friday on the call of the MQM protesting against previous election-related attacks.
Another bomb attack was reported from New Kumharwara, a neighbourhood of Lyari Town, where a device, suspected to be planted in a motorcycle, went off during a corner meeting of the PPP’s candidates of NA-249 Aziz Memon, and PS-111 Adnan Baloch. Eyewitnesses said dozens of people were there to listen to the candidate’s future plans at the corner meeting when the explosion occurred near the place where children and women were sitting.
Police officials said a nine-year-old girl and a 25-year-old man, identified as Kamran Baloch, were killed and 15 others were injured.
Talking to reporters, Aziz Memon said he had also received minor wounds in his legs, while Adnan Baloch was also injured.
Doctors at the Civil Hospital said they received two bodies, including that of a girl, and 15 injured, ten of whom were in serious condition.
Eyewitnesses said the blast took place as soon as the candidates reached the stage.
Najmi Alam, PPP Karachi general secretary, said the attack was part of the same ‘conspiracy’ to keep the liberal parties at bay from the electoral process.
The blasts created a state of fear in Lyari, which was already charged because of a search operation by the Rangers early in the morning.