JNN 18 Aug 2012 KARACHI: A day after a horrific massacre of 19 Shias in Mansehra , a bus carrying young Shia men was targeted by a bomb in Karachi. At least two people were Martyred and 12 others injured when a bomb exploded near Safari Park on the city’s busy University Road on Friday.
The bomb was planted at a footpath near the main gate of Safari Park, close to an electric substation. A car between the bomb and the bus blunted the force. “The car took the major impact of the explosion,” District East DIG Shahid Hayat told Our Correspondent. “If the bomb had hit the bus instead, there is no telling how many more people would have been killed.”
Police sources said about 2 kgs of explosives had been planted near the KESC substation to target a bus carrying people going to attend the Al Quds Day rally. The bus, a car and some motorbikes were part of a small caravan going to the Numaish area for the rally. The bus was carrying activists of the Imamia Student Organisation (ISO) who boarded the bus at Karachi University and were headed to a central Youm-e-Quds rally at Numaish Chowrangi.
The explosion took place at around 3:15pm. It was planned for one of the most revered days of the year, the last Friday of Ramzan, Jumatul Wida. DIG East Shahid Hayat said the car bore the brunt of the blast when the explosives were detonated by remote control. Its roof was almost blown up and the front seats were soaked in blood. People ran for cover when ambulances taking the injured to hospital came under fire in the Jauhar area.
Since 1979, Youm-e-Quds rallies have been organised every year on the last Friday of Ramazan to express solidarity with Palestinians and to oppose Zionism. The ISO’s rally was scheduled to start at Numaish Chowrangi and end at Tibet Centre. The driver of the car Maulana Manzur Hussain s/o Ramzan Ali ,30 who was also one of the participants, died on the spot.
The Martyred Young Maulana Manzoor Hussain was the Pesh Imam of Mosque of Bhakar Goth , Near Abbas Town . And had left 2 Young children and a Pregnant Wife , who was about to deliver on the Saturday Morning .
DIG Hayat said that though the identity of the perpetrators has yet to be ascertained, the involvement of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) could not be ruled out. “Very recently there have been a number of terrorist attacks in Karachi,” he explained. “The first step for the law enforcers would be to investigate whether this blast is linked to previous blasts in the city.”
About two years ago, over three dozen people were killed in a bomb blast at a Youm-e-Quds rally in Quetta. “If the perpetrators behind the blast in Quetta two years ago had been arrested and punished, this incident would not have happened,” the president of ISO, Athar Imran, told Jafria News. The ISO announced three days of morning and has demanded arrests.
About two hundred people were planning to take part in ISO’s rally from Karachi University. About four dozen participants alone were on board. The victims said that a Rangers mobile was also parked near the blast site. “How did someone manage to plant a bomb when the Rangers were around?” asked one of the passengers, Ali Abbas. “I think that the culprits who were behind the attack on the ISO in Karachi University last year were also involved in this incident.”
Investigators suspect the involvement militant groups, especially Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which is backed by the TTP and al-Qaeda. CID SP Mazhar Mashwani told The Correspondent that the Naeem Bukhari group of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi could be behind the attack. In the very least, a single group of terrorists is behind this one and the recent attacks on the Rangers and last year’s Muharram procession at Abyssinia Lane and Kala Pul. Experts from the bomb disposal squad believe that the bomb bore a resemblance to those used in the recent attacks against Rangers personnel.
It contained 2.5 kilogrammes of highly explosive material. Sabir Durrani, an expert from the squad, told that a remote-controlled device containing ball bearings had been used. “When they could not attack the Youm-e-Ali rally they attempted to attack our Youm-e-Quds rally,” said Maulana Ali Muhammad Naqvi, who is the president of the Hussain Youth Organization.
Twelve of the injured and one body were taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre between 3:40 pm and 3:50 pm. Those who were seriously injured were sent to the surgical ICU. By evening, casualty director Dr Seemin Jamali said that two of the patients were on the ventilator, two patients were being operated on and two were sent to the orthopedics ward. She said that the doctors discovered mechanical shrapnel in two of the patients. The hospital identified the injured as Mehdi Hassan (15), Abdul Waheed (40), Abdul Qadir(26), Ali Razzak (30), Ashraf Hussain (28), Nizamuddin (28), Rahat Hussain (39), Syed Murtaza Kazmi (19), Wasood (25), Minhaj Ali and Zakir Hussain. The body was identified as Manzoor Hussain.
The ISO confirmed that seven more injured men were admitted to Aga Khan University Hospital. Imtiaz s/o Ramzan Ali, 26, passed away later. Special Secretary Health Dr Suresh Kumar said that of the injured, two were undergoing laparotomy, one was in the neurosurgery ICU, two were admitted to the orthopedic ward of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and two others were at the Aga Khan University Hospital. Dr Kumar said that five of the injured were in serious condition.
Al Quds Rally in Karachi :
However rally was taken out here on Friday on M.A. Jinnah Road to mark International Al Quds Day despite the bomb explosion on main University road that hit a bus, which was carrying participants in the rally
.The Al Quds rally in which women and children also took part was taken out under the aegis of Tehreek-i-Azadia Al Quds of the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), Karachi. The participants in the rally expressed their solidarity with Palestinian brethren and said that Palestinians were struggling against the illegal occupation of their land by Israel.
The participants were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans against alleged American and Israeli aggression and waving flags of Hezbollah and Hamas. They were also carrying portraits of Ayatollah Khomeini, Ayatollah Syed Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah leader Syed Hassan Nasrallah.
The participants marched on M.A. Jinnah Road from the Numaish traffic intersection to Tibet Centre to lodge their protest against “US-backed Israeli oppression against Palestinians”. Speaking to participants in the rally at the Tibet Centre, Majlis-i-Wahdat Muslimeen central leader Maulana Mirza Yousuf Hussain, ISO Pakistan president Athar Imran, Maulana Baqar Zaidi, Allama Amin Shaheedi, Allama Qazi Ahmed Noorani Siddiqui and others said that observing Al Quds Day was a referendum against Israel. Condemning the attack on the bus carrying Al Quds rally participants, they described it as a “conspiracy of the Zionist regime”