This is the second attack on SUPARCO employees. The first attack took place on October 3, 2003, also on Hub River Road when the employees were leaving for Friday prayers. Assailants belonging to the outlawed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi opened fire at the bus and threw hand grenades resulting in the death of six people and injuries to seven.
Two men, Shahnawaz, aka Shani and Mohammad Shaukat, were awarded the death sentence six times and collective rigorous imprisonment of 49 years each.
However, this time the police suspect that the Lashkar-e-Balochistan (LB) is behind the attack because the explosive used is similar to that used in blasts at electricity pylons in Karachi and Balochistan, carried out by the same group. Besides having a strong network in Balochistan, the LB is also very well-connected in the peripheries of Karachi. They have also been involved in prior bomb blasts in the city. They accepted the responsibility for a bomb attack in Mauripur which occurred in April 2011. The Crime Investigation Department (CID) arrested Abdul Qadir Kalmati, one of the leaders of the organisation, who was allegedly responsible for more attacks in Karachi, including several on police stations. There have also been three attacks on buses carrying navy personnel in Karachi. One of them took place on the same road, one near Karsaz while the third one in Defence.
The bomb disposal experts say that the kind of explosives used in all the attacks is quite similar.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2012.