KARACHI, April 3: At least four Rangers personnel were killed and three others injured when an improvised explosive device went off at the entrance of their offices in Korangi No 5 on Wednesday night.

The attack came at a time when the paramilitary force is carrying out widespread search operations across the city after its officials were taken to task by the Supreme Court over the precarious law and order situation in Karachi.

“The blast took place when a truck carrying Rangers personnel stopped outside the gate of the 43 Wing Office,” East Karachi SSP Imran Shaukat told Dawn.

Seven personnel were returning to their base after performing guard duties for three months at the Rangers Headquarters on Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road when the incident took place, he said.

“The IED had been placed a few yards away from the guardroom close to the gate.”

The official said the precision of the timing indicated that the bomb had been detonated by remote control.

According to the initial report of the bomb disposal unit, the explosives weighed about 3kg and ball bearings and nails were also used in the device.

A Rangers spokesman said about a dozen personnel returning from their duties were in the vehicle when it was hit by the explosion.

He urged media personnel to stay away from the place because of the possibility of a second explosion.

The victims were identified as Amanat Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Saifullah and Majid Ali. Raja Umar Khattab, SP of the CID’s counter-terrorism wing, said the incident was part of a string of attacks carried out against the paramilitary force over the past few months.

“The IED had been placed in the dug-up roadside and the explosion left a crater one-foot deep and two-feet wide,” he said.

Since an attack on the Rangers’ premises in North Nazimabad in November last year, a number of their vehicles had been attacked by terrorists, the official said.

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