The death toll of the grenade attack in Mawach Goth rose to 13 on Sunday as two more victims succumbed to their injuries overnight.
At least 10 people were killed and several others were injured on Saturday after perpetrators on motorcycles lobbed a grenade on a truck in Mawach Goth area of Baldia Town. The police said the victims were returning from a wedding in a mini truck.
The driver had picked up a family of 20-25 people, including women and children, from Pareshan Chowk in Baldia.
They all belonged to the extended family of former Awami National Party provincial joint-secretary Farman Ali Khan and former Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) union council nazim Mairaj Khan Swati.
Sources said all the victims have been identified and the injured are being provided medical treatment. One of them is said to be in a critical condition.
The bodies of the deceased were handed over to the heirs after legal formalities. Those who died during treatment were identified as Fahad Khan, 6, son of Shamsher Khan, who was under treatment in the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) after he was shifted from Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital.
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Shamsher Khan’s two other children, Sufiyan Khan, 13, and Hammad Khan, 11, and his wife Salima Bibi, 50, had diedon the spot.
Meanwhile, 40-year-old Sadaqat, wife of Dildar, and 11-year-old Salman son of Rehamdil, succumbed to their injuries during treatment in Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital. The other deceased include Nusrat Bibi daughter of Dildar Khan, 25, Sharafat wife of Mairaj Khan Swati, 40, Shaheen Begum wife of Dildar Khan, 45, Aqsa daughter of Sher Ali, 24 and two brothers Usman Khan, 12, and Salman Khan, 15, sons of Rehamdil Khan.
Seven people, who are undergoing treatment in Dr. Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital, include Sumaira daughter of Farman, 25, Wazarat wife of Shahid, 35, Sakina wife of Izhar, 34, Rukhsana wife of Abdul Rasheed, 35, Iqra wife of Sher Ali, 30, Safina, 45, and Sajid.
Thus far the investigators have detained the driver of the mini truck and Bilal, who booked the truck, and are questioning them for leads in the case. The police have yet to determine whether the attack was a terror bid or a case of personal enmity.
No terrorist or separatist group has claimed responsibility for the attack thus far but the police, and the victims’ families, suspect the involvement of a separatist group in Sindh. Meanwhile, the police have collected CCTV footage from different routes that the mini truck passed through. However, they have yet to find footage of the blast.
A senior police officer said that investigators are trying to retrieve as much video footage as they can to identify the attackers who were on motorcycles.
The investigation will also seek assistance from the victims’ families and record their statements besides the survivors’. The route from Pareshan Chowk, Baldia Town where the wedding was held to the site of the blast was inspected.
Pashtun families living in Sherpao Colony of Baldia Town were badly shaken by the terror attack that claimed 13 lives. Funeral prayers of all 13 victims were led by Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi Ameer Hafiz Naeemur Rehman at Star Ground in Quaidabad’s Sherpao Colony.
After which the deceased were laid to rest in Maula Madad Graveyard. Over a thousand people attended the funeral. Speaking to the media, the JI leader demanded of the government, the administration and security agencies to arrest the killers and unmask the entire network involved in the heinous crime.
He also demanded of the government to public all relevant details of the culprits. He said such a gruesome crime at a time when the entire nation was celebrating Independence Day is a big question mark over the performance of police and other law enforcement agencies.
Our desire for peace shouldn’t be mistaken as weakness, he said and demanded of the prime minister, the chief of army staff, the Sindh chief minister, and the director general of Sindh Rangers to take notice of the tragedy.
Further lambasting the LEAs, he said that billions of rupees are allocated to police and other relevant agencies to maintain peace but all of them failed miserably in discharging their duties.
Target killers and other criminals have put the peace of the city on stake, he said, adding that the provincial government will have to ensure safety of life and possessions of citizens as it was its prime responsibility.
Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani, MNA Abdul Qadir Mandokhail, Aslam Ghouri of the JUI-F, Younous Bonari of the ANP, and several JI leaders, including Munim Zaffar, Birjis Ahmed, Ishaq Khan, Younous Barai and others attended the funeral prayers.
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