KARACHI / DI KHAN: A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden pickup truck into the gate of Sachal Rangers Headquarters in North Nazimabad Block B area of Karachi on Thursday, causing a huge blast that killed three Rangers personnel and a suicide bomber, while at least 26 people were injured.
“An explosives-laden vehicle rammed into the gate of the residential area of the complex and hit its wall. A total of 21 Rangers have been injured in the attack this morning,” a Rangers spokesperson told AFP.
The deceased Rangers personnel were identified as Lance Naik Khalid Mahmood, Sepoy Abdul Razzaq and Sepoy Imran Wali.
A spokesperson for a prominent faction of the Pakistani Taliban, headed by insurgent Mullah Fazlullah, claimed responsibility.
Sirajuddin Ahmad, speaking by telephone, said the attack was “revenge for the arrest, torture and killing of our people” by security forces in the region.
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan also confirmed that the attack was carried out by the TTP and said that such attacks will continue in the future because the Rangers “harass” their men in Karachi.
IG Sindh Fayyaz Leghari confirmed that it was a suicide blast. He added that a mini truck had been used in the attack.
According to Express News, initial investigations into the blast have emerged which suggest that Ataur Rehman’s (alias Naeem Bukhari) group of TTP is involved in the attack.
Ataur Rehman, who lived in the Paposh area of Karachi, has carried out attacks on Rangers in the past as well.
DIG West Javed Odho as saying that around 150kg of explosives were used in the blast.
According to Express News correspondent Wasiq Muhammad, the powerful explosion destroyed the vehicle and severely damaged the building’s two storied structure, a section of which has collapsed. Parts of the building had caught fire, which the fire brigade put out.
He added that the dead and injured were shifted to Abbasi Shaheed hospital. Of the injured, five were civilians and the rest were Rangers personnel.
Muhammad added that most of those injured were in critical condition and are being given medical treatment. He added that doctors had removed ball bearings in addition to metal fragments from some of the injured.
One of the injured Rangers’ personnel Mohammad Farooq narrated that the security personnel had just sat down after offering their morning prayers at around 6:30 am when the explosion took place.
Another Rangers personnel Anwar while talking to Express News said that as he was getting ready for the duty, he saw that a mini truck came crashing inside the headquarters’ vicinity and rammed into a tree nearby and exploded.
Emergency services have reached the spot and are conducting a rescue operation. The area has been cordoned off by security officials.
A suspicious person was also reportedly arrested from the immediate vicinity of the Rangers headquarters soon after the blast.
The blast was powerful enough to be heard for miles around and a big mushroom cloud rose high into the sky.