One person was killed and 12 others injured on Monday night after a bomb exploded in Karachi’s busy Bolton Market, with officials saying the likely target was a police van that was passing through the area.
According to officials, the deceased was a young woman who was traveling in a rickshaw. They said that three policemen, including an assistant sub-inspector, were among the injured, as was an 8-year-old child. All the injured were rushed to hospital, where two are reportedly in critical condition.
Speaking to media at the crime scene, police said the improvised explosive device (IED) used in the bombing was planted on a motorcycle parked in the area. They said it was detonated remotely and admitted that the attack was “similar” to last week’s bombing in Karachi’s Saddar area. That blast, claimed by the separatist Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army, killed one person and injured 13 others.
Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) South Sharjeel Kharal told journalists that he had spoken to the driver of the police van, adding that he had confirmed that the bomb went off as the vehicle reached the area. Vowing that the blast would be fully investigated, he said police would use all available resources to catch the perpetrators behind the attack.
“Karachi is such a big city with a huge population. It is entirely possible for a bombing to occur after someone parks their motorcycle or bicycle and walks away. This is indeed a challenge for us,” he said.
Speaking with media, Sindh Labor Minister Saeed Ghani regretted that terrorist incidents were once again occurring across Pakistan and said this was a challenge that both the provincial government and the entire country needed to tackle. “[Unfortunately] deploying police at every inch is not possible,” he said, adding that “enemies” of the country were taking advantage of political instability.
In a statement, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incident and expressed his sorrow over the woman killed in the blast. He directed the authorities concerned to arrest the perpetrators involved in the crime as soon as possible, and assured the Sindh government of the federal government’s complete assistance in enhancing security of the province.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan also condemned the incident and expressed solidarity with the families of the victims and urged law enforcement agencies to deal with all terrorists “with an iron fist.”
Condemning the incident, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz prayed for the early recovery of the people injured in the blast. “Only through unity and consensus can we stop such incidents,” he said.
This was the third bombing in Karachi in the past three weeks. On April 26, a suicide bomber of the Baloch Liberation Army targeted the Karachi University, killing three Chinese teachers and a local driver. Then, on May 12, one man was killed and 12 others injured after an IED was detonated near an official vehicle of Pakistan Coast Guards.