Friday, May 13, 2022
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One killed, 13 injured as explosion rips through Karachi's Saddar area

Police say blast was caused by an improvised explosive device planted in a bicycle

  • DIG South says multiple cars have been damaged.
  • Injured have been shifted to the Jinnah Hospital.
  • Initial report reveals an IED was planted in a bicycle.

KARACHI: At least one person was killed and thirteen were left injured in a blast that rocked the Saddar area of Karachi late Thursday night.

According to Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Sharjeel Kharal, several cars were also damaged during the blast, while the windows of the nearby buildings were shattered. 

Administrator Karachi Murtaza Wahab visited Jinnah Hospital to meet the injured, where he was briefed by the head of the facility, Dr Shahid Rasool, regarding the treatment being provided to the affectees. Wahab directed the hospital administration to provide the best medical care to the injured.

An emergency has been imposed in all public hospitals of Karachi, while hospital sources said that the people brought to the hospital sustained injuries caused by ball-bearings. Kharal mentioned that two government employees were among the injured.

The deceased has been identified as Umar Siddiqui, who worked at the Jinnah Hospital as a trainee operation theatre technician.

Dr Rasool confirmed that seven injured and a dead body were brought to the hospital, adding that the condition of one person was critical.

Initial report

According to the initial report submitted to Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah by the DIG South, an improvised explosive device (IED) was planted in a bicycle. The blast occurred near the United Bakery.

Meanwhile, sources told Geo News that a vehicle belonging to the Coast Guard was targeted as it was parked near the site of the blast.

Sources added that all the individuals in the vehicle, as well as the driver, are safe.

On the other hand, DIG South said that no specific vehicle or institution was targeted in the blast. 

According to the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) officials, explosive material was planted in the carrier of the bicycle which was detonated using a time device.

“The bomb was made locally and about 2 to 2.5-kilogrammes of explosive material was used in it,” said BDS, adding that, “ball-bearings were used in the explosive material.”

Later, a report issued by the BDS stated that a locally made IED was used in the attack. It said that the BDS team found 55 steel ball bearings and parts of the bi-cycle exploded. 

At least seven cars and three motorcycles were damaged in the blast, the report added.

'Those responsible will not be spared'

Meanwhile, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon reached the site of the blast and endorsed DIG South, saying that no vehicle or institution was targeted.

He said there was no threat of a blast at any particular place. Replying to a question, he said that the blast at the University of Karachi was a suicide bomb blast; however, it is too early to comment whether the two had any links.

“Karachi is a busy city and stays awake during the night,” he said, adding that the population of the metropolitan is around three million and thousands of cars pass by the Saddar area, therefore, “checking all the cars is impossible.”

According to the preliminary investigation, no specific person, institution or vehicle was targeted. “Moreover, no personnel from the Coast Guard has been injured,” he said.

The provincial minister said that terrorists have been caught in the past too and those responsible for this incident "will not be spared" either.

Condemnations pour in

Extending his condolences to the family of the deceased, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep sorrow over the loss of a precious life.

He prayed for the speedy recovery of all those injured in the blast and  directed CM Sindh to ensure proper medical facilities were provided to the injured.

Condemning the blast, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed his sorrow and sent heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased. He directed authorities concerned to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shehbaz, in a statement, condemned the blast and expressed grief over the loss of life. The PML-N leader also prayed for the early recovery of those injured.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan also condemned the blast and also sent his condolences to the bereaved family members of the deceased.

MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel have also condemned the blast.