KARACHI: In a third blast in as many weeks, a woman died and at least 12 people sustained injuries when an improvised explosive device (IED) attached to a motorbike went off near Boulton Market in Kharadar late on Monday night, officials and witnesses said.
A police van passing through the famed Kaghzi Bazaar near Boulton Market was apparently the target of the blast that claimed the life of a young woman travelling in a rickshaw and left a dozen others, including a police officer and an eight-year-old boy, wounded.
The police vehicle and a few other vehicles, including two-wheelers and a three-wheeler, were damaged in the blast that also triggered a fire, showed video clips aired by some TV channels soon after the IED blast that took place at 9.50pm.
Head of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Trauma Centre of Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi, Dr Sabir Memon, confirmed that one body and 12 injured were brought to the centre. He said condition of two of the injured was serious.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah earlier taking immediate notice of the incident declared an emergency at the Civil Hospital and sought an immediate report from Sindh police chief.
In the meantime, crime scene unit of the police rushed to the blast site and secured the scene where bomb disposal squad officials were called to ascertain the nature of the explosion.
“Preliminary report showed that the real target was the police mobile,” DIG Karachi South Sharjeel Kharal told Dawn. He said initial assessment showed the IED explosion was ‘similar’ to the recent Saddar blast, but they were waiting for the report of bomb disposal officials.
He said the wholesale cloth bazaar of Boulton Market was almost closed with only a few people present in the locality when the bomb went off in the late hours.
Senior officer of the Counter-Terrorism Department Raja Umar Khattab said the IED, which was planted on a parked motorbike in the bazaar, was detonated apparently with a remote control device when the police vehicle slowed down near it. The CTD officer said the target appeared to be the police mobile van that was damaged in the explosion.
He said the IED containing ball bearings seemed to be similar to the one used to carry out the blast in the busy commercial area of Saddar.
Some of the injured were identified as Ahsan Mushtaq, 20, Irshad, 35, Yunus Faiz, 30, Haris Khalid, 8, Ashfaq Habib, 30, Mohammed Habib, 60, Sikander Ghous, 25, Faraz Shoaib, 25, Abdullah Jan and Ayub Habib, 40.
Assistant sub-inspector Badaruddin was also among the injured whose condition was stated to be out of danger, according to the police spokesperson.
This was the third terror incident in the metropolis since April 26 when a suicide bombing at Karachi University claimed the life of three Chinese teachers and a local driver. The responsibility of the deadly attack was later claimed by banned Baloch Liberation Army.
Later on May 12, a young passerby was killed and 10 others suffered injuries in a bicycle blast targeting an official vehicle of Pakistan Coast Guards in Saddar whose responsibility was claimed by the outlawed Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army.