A pedestrian and a Chinese official travelling in a Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) van were injured after two unidentified men, who were on a motorcycle, opened fire on the vehicle in Lyari on Tuesday.
While the pedestrian, 45-year-old Khalid, sustained gunshot wounds in his arm and abdomen, the Chinese official, 26-year-old Jason Yahu, was injured by shattered glass that splintered as a result of the firing. Two others, the driver and a translator, inside the SSWMB van remained unhurt.
The injured were shifted to Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital.
Later, the police reached the spot and collected evidence from the crime scene.
Speaking to the media, South DIG Javed Akbar Riaz said the perpetrators opened fire at the van just as it entered the limits of Baghdadi Police Station.
The DIG added that Jason visits different areas with SSWMB teams for different projects and it was during a routine visit that the two men opened fire at the vehicle he was travelling in.
He said an investigation has been launched into the matter to determine who perpetrated the attack and the motive behind it.
According to the DIG, two bullet shells of a 9mm pistol were found at the crime and sent for ballistic testing.
The police have registered a case for the shooting at Baghdadi Police Station under sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act and that pertaining to attempted murder besides other sections of the Pakistan Penal Code against unidentified men.
According to City SSP Sarfaraz Nawaz, the case has been registered on behalf of SSWMB manager, Babar Hussain.
A Counter Terrorism Department team also carried out geo-fencing of the crime scene.
Besides, the CCTV footage of the incident surfaced later in the day. In the video, the attackers are seen chasing the SSWMB van on a 70CC motorcycle. One of them was wearing shalwar kameez and the other had donned a shirt and trousers. Both of them wore caps.
Not a first
This was not the first incident in which a Chinese national has been targeted in Karachi. Apart from the Chinese consulate attack in 2018, it appears that Chinese nationals are frequently targeted in the metropolis, especially by terrorists associated with nationalist groups.
On December 22 last year, a Chinese national and his translator narrowly escaped an attack at a car showroom located on the Super Highway. An unidentified pillion rider had fired shots at the showroom near the Jamali Flyover when the Chinese national was visiting the showroom. The attackers, who were on a motorcycle, had fled in the direction of Quetta Town after opening fire.
An FIR was subsequently lodged at the Sachal Police Station on a complaint filed by the showroom owner, Abdul Baseer. The police had inserted Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act in the FIR. No suspect has been arrested as yet, however, and the cops claim to be investigating the matter.
Shortly after the attack, banned nationalist party, the Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army had claimed responsibility for the attack.
Prior to that, on December 16, 2020, two unidentified men on a motorcycle had attempted an attack on the owner of China Town restaurant in Clifton. The perpetrators had installed a magnetic improvised explosive device in the Chinese citizen's vehicle and the same nationalist party had subsequently claimed responsibility for the attempted attack.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2021.
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