Muharram security breach: Blasts rip through Pindi, Karachi

Published: November 22, 2012

At least ten people are killed and over 15 injured when a suicide bomber struck a Muharram procession at Qasr-e-Shabir Imambargah. PHOTO: Express/Waseem Imran

Bomb disposal squad collecting evidence after the blast at Jamia Masjid-o-Imambargah Haider-o-Karrar in the Orangi Town. PHOTO: Express/ Irfan Ali At least ten people are killed and over 15 injured when a suicide bomber struck a Muharram procession at Qasr-e-Shabir Imambargah. PHOTO: Express/Waseem Imran

KARACHI/PAKISTAN: Despite elaborate announcements of enhanced security, three terror attacks on two Imambargahs, in Karachi and later in Rawalpindi, on Wednesday claimed at least 12 lives – sending a wave of fear through the country regarding further attacks as Muharram crescendos over the weekend.

Over two dozen people were injured in Wednesday’s attacks.

Karachi witnessed a twin blast at Jamia Masjid-o-Imambargah Haider-o-Karrar in the Orangi Town neighbourhood. Two lives were lost, given that there was no congregation at the Imambargah at the time of the first or the second blast.

Rawalpindi, however, was not as lucky.

At least ten people were killed and over 15 injured when a suicide bomber struck a Muharram procession at Qasr-e-Shabir Imambargah on Dhok Seyadan road late Wednesday night.

Rescue 1122 officials said the toll could increase as the number of critically injured was high.

The blast occurred when the procession, consisting of hundreds of people, was gathered outside the Imambargah. Till the filing of this report, rescue activities were underway.

The army was called to the site to assist police. Police officials claimed they recovered hand grenades from near the Imambargah. They also held some suspects from the site, they said.

Like in Karachi, security in the twin cities was on high alert for the last 24 hours. Imambargahs and Muharram processions had been provided special police and Rangers’ security cover.

In Karachi

With Sunday’s blast that claimed three lives still fresh in the memories of Karachi’s residents, twin blasts near another Imambargah claimed at least two lives on Wednesday.

This time around, the blasts targeted Jamia Masjid-o-Imambargah Haider-o-Karrar in the Orangi Town neighbourhood in spite of security measures in place around the site. No clear picture of events emerged by the time this report was filed and conflicting accounts kept coming in from different official quarters.

Soon after the first blast, at 6:15pm, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Javed Odho maintained a rickshaw’s CNG cylinder had exploded. However, eyewitnesses claimed that a suicide bomber had collided with the rickshaw, 20 feet away from the Imambargah, and detonated his device. Later, reports ruled out the suicide bomber, but postulated that the explosive device had been planted on a motorcycle.

About 40 minutes later, a second bomb went off, planted beside the main-gate of the Imambargah.

BDS officials maintained they had carried out a routine search of the Imambargah the previous day. The search, however, failed to detect the presence of any explosives – even the bomb used in the second blast, which was planted next to the gate. Either the search was flawed, or the device was planted today.

Earlier directives had also prohibited motorcycles within half a kilometer of any place of worship. The directives, however, were not enforced, despite a heavy Rangers presence in the area. Even the motorcycle repair shops, which dot the vicinity of the Imambargah, were open despite directives for them to be closed.

Rangers officials at the site maintained they were focusing on a nearby Muharram procession. They added that directives regarding motorcycles and motorcycle shops had been relaxed since there was no congregation present at the Imambargah at the time.

The first blast claimed at least two lives and injured three others. According to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital medico-legal officer Dr Zahoor Ahmad, the death toll could include one more life since some of the remains they received were unaccounted for.

Ten people were injured in the second blast, including two journalists and two Shifa welfare volunteers. Dr Ahmad added that most were out of danger. Only three, he said, were seriously wounded.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • The Khan
    Nov 22, 2012 - 6:01AM

    Since no Palestinians died therefore its not of our concern . FREE PALESTINE

    Recommend

  • kanwal
    Nov 22, 2012 - 6:05AM

    Dear shias of pakistan, we are all in it together. Dont give up. UNITY IS THE ONLY WAY OUT. we all should support our brothers and sisters. This is what these attackers will like least. Thats why we should do it and do it now.

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Nov 22, 2012 - 6:26AM

    I hope God gives courage to the bereaved family to bear the loss.

    Recommend

  • Architect
    Nov 22, 2012 - 7:07AM

    Sad. Very sad.. Who ever is behind this can be anything but a muslim. They only want to divide us.
    I don’t know what our intelligence agencies & forces r doing, other then enjoying 70% of our budget. And “salam” to our Mr. CrazyIdea interior minister who is good for nothing..

    Recommend

  • Polpot
    Nov 22, 2012 - 7:27AM

    Blasts at Karachi/RawalPindi
    ++++++++++++++++++++++
    Sounds as if its just like Gaza.
    Lets blame it on Israel.

    Recommend

  • ramanan
    Nov 22, 2012 - 7:50AM

    @gp65

    Everytime, you see such news coming out of Pakistan, don’t you feel we should thank Jinnah for all that he had done.

    Recommend

  • Muslim
    Nov 22, 2012 - 8:32AM

    Who cares. Palestine is more important than Pakistan

    Recommend

  • Muhammard Rizwan Ali
    Nov 22, 2012 - 8:39AM

    hundreds of security personals always on the doors of Government officials, Ministers,SCJ,HCJ, and even low ranked Government people.
    Why can not these security personals on these holly places doorRecommend

  • Lord
    Nov 22, 2012 - 9:16AM

    Hopeless place this land has become.

    Recommend

  • Faraz
    Nov 22, 2012 - 9:22AM

    I see no condemnation of this attack on our citizens (my FB is full of anti-Israel posts). Of course it didn’t happen in Palestine or was done by Israel (wait, our conspiracy theorists may suggest just that) but anyway since Pakistanis died we wouldn’t care.

    Recommend

  • Human
    Nov 22, 2012 - 9:29AM

    Call in the ARMY , WE WANT PEACERecommend

  • Saqib
    Nov 22, 2012 - 9:31AM

    There is no such existence of Taliban, Its Black water and other Foreign agencies who are doing this the same as they did in Iraq and finally they attack them and control there resources

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  • Usama Bin Ahmed
    Nov 22, 2012 - 9:36AM

    @The Khan:

    Sorry bro, but its people like you who create discrimination & spread a false message. Killing of Muslim regardless of REGION is condemn able in any case since i am first Muslim and then a Pakistani..

    Peace

    Recommend

  • Azhar
    Nov 22, 2012 - 9:40AM

    Who kills Palestinian, the same are killing in Pakistan……the same

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  • Nov 22, 2012 - 10:24AM

    @ Kanwal.. thanks…Yea only unity is only way out..

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  • vasan
    Nov 22, 2012 - 11:02AM

    Another normal office going day in the “Land of the Pure”. I dont say that, only a pakistani paper says that. Then it must be true.
    The Khan and the Muslim : Have you forgotten Burma, the latest kid on the block ?
    Ramanan. Jinnah ranks very highly and commands respects from Pakistan and India for diff reasons though.

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  • iftikhar HUssain
    Nov 22, 2012 - 11:21AM

    you are right kanwal

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  • human being
    Nov 22, 2012 - 10:04PM

    As a human being irrespective of religion, no religion talks about killing one another and if it (any religion) does allow, i dont think it (that religion) has anythg to do with God. And in this case God would be called UNJUST and blamable….However GOD is Pure from such accusations.. Thus a Muslim killing any innocent human or another muslim only proves that the Killers are not humans but BEASTS in disguise of human beings. And those whosoever condemns such acts are Humans…”

    Recommend

  • Sumit Shaw
    Nov 23, 2012 - 10:56AM

    In last few days pakistan has witnessed a series of blast, in which almost a hundred people were killed. Why don’t muslim World raise their voice against these acts. Muslim World are busy in protesting Israels attack on Gaza, moreover pakistanis are also not bother of the terrorist attacks being carried out in their own country. Just because the attackers in Pakistan are muslims

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