One person was killed and 13 others injured after an improvised explosive device detonated in the Saddar area of Karachi late on Thursday night. The attack was claimed by the Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA) in a statement issued to media on Friday morning.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Sharjeel Kharal visited the crime scene and told media that several cars had been damaged during the blast. Windows of nearby buildings were also shattered, he added. He said the slain individual was a man in his mid-20s who had worked at the city’s Jinnah Hospital.
Rescue workers, meanwhile, told journalists that several of the injuries had been caused by ball-bearings in the explosive device. Officials of the Bomb Disposal Squad, who reached the site after the explosion, said that the IED had been planted on a parked bicycle and was detonated using a timer. “The bomb was made locally and contained around 2-2.5kg of explosive material,” they said, and confirmed that “many” ball-bearings had been present, suggesting an intent to cause major casualties.
Initial reports had suggested that the blast might have targeted a vehicle of the Coast Guard, which was parked near the site of the bombing, but the DIG South claimed the attack was intended to terrorize the public and had not targeted any specific group.
The SRA is a banned Sindhi militant organization based in Sindh province. Most recently, it had also claimed a grenade attack on a Jamaat-e-Islami rally in August 2020 that injured around 40 people.
Condemnations and clarifications
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon told media at the crime scene that there had been no prior security threats for this particular location. He also refused to speculate on whether the bombing might be linked to the suicide blast at the University of Karachi last month, which had killed three Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver, and had been claimed by the Baloch Republican Army.
To a question, he said the government would ensure the terrorists responsible were brought to justice.
Praying for the speedy recovery of all injured, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif extending his condolences to the family of the deceased and expressed deep sorrow over the loss of a precious life. He also directed the Sindh chief minister to ensure proper medical facilities were provided to the injured.
Condemning the blast, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed his sorrow and sent heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased. He also directed authorities to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the incident.
Condemnations also poured in from Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and former prime minister Imran Khan.