Disaster strikes again: Attack on Mobilink outlet

Published: January 2, 2012

Nature of the blast in Karachi still uncert­ain, two guards critic­ally injure­d. PHOTO: INP

Nature of the blast in Karachi still uncert­ain, two guards critic­ally injure­d. PHOTO: INP Nature of the blast in Karachi still uncert­ain, two guards critic­ally injure­d. PHOTO: INP

KARACHI: Less than two weeks after armed men walked into a Telenor outlet and opened fire on employees, another telecommunication company was attacked. On Monday, a Mobilink outlet was targeted and an explosive device was used in the attack.

The outlet is located on Sher Shah Suri Road in the Hyderi area of North Nazimabad. It is just a few kilometers away from the Telenor outlet which was attacked last month. At around 1:05pm, two young men drove up to the outlet on a motorcycle and threw the device at it. Two security guards, Zafar and Younus, were wounded. They were taken to the Abbasi Shaheed hospital for treatment. The guards were critically injured as the device exploded very near to them. Two passersby were also injured in the attack. They were given first aid treatment at a private hospital and then discharged.

“I don’t know what they threw at the outlet, but the blast was of a very high intensity,” said a witness, Imran Ahmed. “One of the attackers was clad in shalwar kameez and the other was wearing a shirt and trousers. Nobody knows where they fled after the attack.” A heavy contingent of law enforcement personnel, including officers from the police and Rangers, were deployed at the site. The area around the outlet was cordoned off and traffic had to be diverted to other routes.

The explosion partially damaged the Mobilink outlet. Law enforcement agencies had their hands full as a crowd of people gathered in front of the outlet. District Central SSP Asim Qaimkhani said that the object used in the attack could either be a grenade or an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The police have also obtained footage from the CCTV camera installed at the outlet.

“The footage clearly reveals that two men drove up to the outlet on a motorcycle and lobbed something at it,” he said. “But we will require the help of experts to discern the facial features of the suspects and determine what the object actually was.”

Mobilink opened the targeted outlet four years ago. Representatives of the organisation said that the employees there did not have any personal enmity towards anyone. No extortionists had ever approached the outlet, nor had anyone received threats. “I can’t really comment on the attack,” said the manager of the outlet, Asfar Siddiqui. “I’ve already told the police whatever I knew. Now it is their job to track down and apprehend the suspects.”

The bomb disposal squad also inspected the site and said that it seemed like a hand grenade had been used. An official from the squad told The Express Tribune that a Russian-made RGD-5, weighing 65 grams, was used in the attack.

This is the second attack on an outlet of a telecommunication company within the span of two weeks. On December 23, two men entered a Telenor outlet and opened fire on the people who worked there. As a result, two people died and two others were wounded. No progress has been made in the case despite the fact that the law enforcers have been analysing the CCTV footage.

The owners of both telecommunication franchises said that they had no personal enemies, had never been harassed by extortionists or received any threats. SP Chaudhry Asad said that the attacks could be linked, but nothing can be said with certainty until the investigation is completed. The law enforcers investigating the case even warned that more franchises in the city could be targeted. An FIR has not been registered as yet.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2012.

Reader Comments (18)

  • Jan 2, 2012 - 1:35PM

    The new Target Killing form and now the Target is Telecommunication Franchises. Very Intense situation.

    Recommend

  • faraz
    Jan 2, 2012 - 1:40PM

    Now fanatics are going to drive away the foreign investors in telecom sector

    Recommend

  • RS
    Jan 2, 2012 - 2:02PM

    Batta Mafia in action. Remind me who’s stronghold is it?

    Recommend

  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    Jan 2, 2012 - 2:02PM

    Do we have a Government ?

    Recommend

  • Ali Wali
    Jan 2, 2012 - 2:08PM

    I think paranoid extremists are targeting mobile companies, because their towers are taller than mosque minarets.Recommend

  • MAHER ALI
    Jan 2, 2012 - 2:08PM

    @Sharjeel Jawaid.. Government.. Whats THAT ???/

    Recommend

  • Muslim
    Jan 2, 2012 - 2:09PM

    Very very sad

    Recommend

  • Jan 2, 2012 - 2:50PM

    And I thought my area was still safe. Will these people spare anyone?

    Recommend

  • Malik
    Jan 2, 2012 - 2:59PM

    yes these are fanatics but not religious fanatics, these are bhatta fanatics.

    Recommend

  • Adnan Ansari
    Jan 2, 2012 - 3:03PM

    Well, I think these are the similar people who buy sell snatched mobile phones, deeds are paying them back….

    Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jan 2, 2012 - 3:22PM

    @ Sharkeel, we don’t have a government but we have a democracy.

    Recommend

  • ali
    Jan 2, 2012 - 3:43PM

    @RS:
    It is a MQM stronghold and this is what the telecom franchise owners deserve for not giving them the BHATTA!!!

    Recommend

  • H Q
    Jan 2, 2012 - 3:47PM

    @ Faraz: Fanatics don’t want to drive away “foreign investors”.

    These both were “Franchises”. The Telenor one that was attacked last week, and Mobilink one that was attacked this week. Apparently the owners refused to pay “Bhatta” or “Extortion” money.

    Recommend

  • faraz
    Jan 2, 2012 - 5:28PM

    @HQ

    I live in Lahore, so don’t know about the bhatta system of Karachi. But whatever the cause, it will discourage foreign investment; bad for Pakistan

    Recommend

  • Noor
    Jan 2, 2012 - 6:28PM

    @ Adnan Ansari, these outlets don’t SELL cellphones. so stop about that.. also if there’s a market for Stolen products its because the people are willing to buy.. killing people and maiming those who work at such places in no way should be ACCEPTED.. Lord help this country if people like you say its acceptable.. Recommend

  • Jan 2, 2012 - 9:06PM

    @faraz:
    bhatta is extortion money aka protection, cheese money

    Recommend

  • Fasih Khan
    Jan 3, 2012 - 9:28AM

    May Allah Almighty Save Pakistan. Highly critical situations in the country and No Leader Available …. We are in great depression …

    Recommend

  • Nabeel
    Jan 3, 2012 - 12:53PM

    @Ali Wali:

    Don’t allow yourself to be brain washed by the western agenda of so called TERRORISM or ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM…just because they claim to be an ISLAMIC ORGANIZATION doesn’t mean they are Islamic…they are funded by the same people who brought down the twin towers on 9/11….now don’t be a fool to say that osama was behind 9/11….because this is what the american thinksRecommend

More in Sindh