KARACHI: Despite news reports on the identification of the suicide bomber, investigation agencies insisted that they were just “rumours”.
Fayyaz Khan, who is heading the investigation team of the Crime Investigation Department (CID), said that such rumours generally surface after a suicide attack. “None of the agencies have issued any such reports and we cannot say anything about the identity of the suicide bomber as the investigations are under way,” he clarified.
On Friday morning, unofficial reports claimed that the suicide bomber has been identified. The suspect, identified as Naseebullah, son of Ameenullah, hailed from Dir, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The reports also claimed that Naseebullah was a resident of Metroville area in SITE Town and had been missing from home for the past five days. His father, who was looking for him at the shrine, informed the police that the head that they recovered from the site of the blasts belonged to his son.
The CID, according to the reports, took the alleged bomber’s family into custody.
On the other hand, Khan said that DNA and lab tests of the evidences collected from the spot are being carried out. The department will move ahead with the investigations once these test reports arrive, he added.
The absence of CCTV cameras has, however, made it difficult for the CID and the FIA to identify the suicide bomber. The authorities are calling the incident a suicide attack based on witnesses’ accounts and the ground situation that they observed. They can only confirm whether or not it was a suicide attack after the DNA test reports arrive since the Ashura blasts were also termed ‘suicide’ but later proved incorrect.
The investigations into the bomb blasts at Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine in Clifton are being carried out by two teams of the CID and the Federal Investigation Agency. In the absence of any solid evidence, they are finding it difficult to link the blasts to any one organisation.
“There are no CCTV footages and the only way to link this to someone is either by finding the identity of the suicide bomber through a DNA test and checking his history or finding similarities in the material used in the blast to that from other attacks,” an official said.
The investigation team has been given the task of tracing the attacks to an organisation. “The first task is to find out who is behind the attacks,” said a team member, adding that it will become easier to move ahead once they complete the first task.
According to the initial reports of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) sent to the investigation teams, around eight to 10 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the attacks.
“Nuts and bolts, blades, and high explosives were used in the bomb [suicide jackets],” said Sabir Khan Durrani, an official of the BDS. The squad believes that the explosives used in the blast were the same as those used in the Ashura blasts and other similar attacks in the city.
Which organisation is responsible?
A statement issued by the Taliban claiming responsibility of the bomb blasts has created further complications for investigation agencies. Now, they are not only looking at the blast in the context of a sectarian war in the city but are also trying to study the Taliban factor. “Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi are two different things,” said an official, adding that “you have to analyse them in different contexts to find out what really happened”. He believed that even though both the organisations are related ideologically, their modus operandi is different.
“As far as the attacks are concerned, they hunt down the enemy using different tactics,” another official added.
According to officials, the war between Sunni Tehreek and Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat and some other organisations of the Shia sect are also under investigation. Suspects belonging to both Barelvi and Deobandi factions have been arrested in the aftermath of the blasts, said an official. CCPO Karachi Fayyaz Leghari had earlier claimed that the Taliban network in the city had been dismantled.
Violence in the city
Following the mourning call made by various organisations condemning the suicide attacks on Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine, shops and businesses remained closed in the city on Friday.
There were also reports of nine people being injured in the resulting violence at Habib Bank SITE, Teen Hatti, Korangi and Ranchore Lines.
Eight buses were also set on fire by unidentified men in Pak Colony, Korangi, Landhi, Garden, Shoe Market, Preedy and New Karachi. Meanwhile, a heavy contingent of police and Rangers were deployed around the city.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2010.