KARACHI: The Pakistan Rangers were spared a disaster on Monday after a bomb was defused near its Sacchal Wing on main Super Highway.
However, Rangers officials said it was too early to say if the bomb was targeting the paramilitary force, which would have made it the second consecutive attempt. A remote controlled bomb device planted at Quaidabad wounded a number of Rangers personnel and a watchman in the early hours of Monday.
The bomb defused on Monday comprised 12 kilogrammes of explosive material including ball bearings, nut and bolts and was made in an oil canister. Brigadier Waseem Ayub told The Express Tribune that the investigation was under way and nothing could be said about the alleged perpetrators or their motives. “We have done a considerable amount of investigation,” Ayub said. “Insha Allah we will share the details with the media in two days.”
Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) officials said that it was a locally made bomb. The improvised explosive device (IED) was connected with a remote control. SHO Raja Aslam said that the police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) 135/2012 under Section 4/5 of the Explosives Act against unidentified people and started investigating the case.
The police have also registered a report of the earlier incident. FIR 354/2012 was filed under Sections 324 and 427 of the Pakistan Penal Code, Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and sections 3 and 4 of the Explosives Act on the complaint of Rangers personnel. At least four Rangers – sepoy Qasim Nawaz, driver Siddiq, Lance Naik Sanaullah and Rizwan – and factory watchman Faiz Mohammad were injured when an IED planted near the wall of a mill’s quarters located in Quaidabad detonated. A Rangers vehicle was deployed nearby and was completely destroyed in the blast. The explosion also resulted in damage to the mill’s quarters and the check post. Windows of nearby shops shattered with the impact. BDS experts said that it was a remote-controlled blast.
This was the second such attack within the space of four days, and also the fourth in a series of attacks targeting Rangers vehicles.
Last December, at least three Rangers personnel were killed and four were injured when a roadside bomb exploded on main University Road near Safoora Chowrangi.
A day after the blast, a Rangers vehicle passing near the University of Karachi narrowly escaped being attacked when a low-intensity bomb exploded outside the varsity, killing a passerby and injuring several others.
About three years ago, a Rangers mobile was targeted near the AO Clinic in Nazimabad. The blast left several Rangers personnel injured and the police are said to have arrested some men from Jundullah for the attack. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and al Qaeda were said to be involved in the Safoora Chowrangi attack, a possible reaction to the mysterious death of Moeed Abdul Salam. Salam was killed in a raid by Rangers at an apartment in Gulistan-e-Jauhar last November and was reportedly associated with al Qaeda.
Rangers and police officials believe that a terrorist group is behind the recent two attacks but have yet to figure out which one it is.
BDS experts say that the bomb was similar to the one defused at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on June 24. The bombs used to attack the Rangers, and the ones that went off last Muharram, were also similar to each other. They suspect that these were made by the same group, and the bombs were designed in a way that they would only explode and cause damage in the direction they were set in.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2012.