At approximately 7:45 am on Tuesday morning, Abul Hassan Ispahani Road reverberated with the sound of an explosion. But the blast wasn’t targeting a particular site and didn’t cause mass casualties. It emerged from a site where two suspected terrorists, who were carrying and transporting explosives on a motorcycle, had lost control of their two-wheeler, slipped and crashed.
The blast, in the limits of the Mobina Town police station of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, shredded the two men into pieces and spread panic in the area. The explosion caused the windowpanes of nearby buildings to shatter and damaged a nearby gas pipeline and electric supply line.
Law enforcement officials, including Rangers and police, reached the site and cordoned off the area. According to sources, at least four suspects were detained from the blast site. They were reportedly shifted to an undisclosed location and are being questioned.
According to eyewitness accounts, the men were travelling from the area near the Ameer Mavia Mosque, which is located a few streets away from the police station. “The blast was so powerful that I couldn’t handle my own motorcycle and I fell off it,” said witness Faisal Shabbir. “Identifying the men will be very difficult because the bodies were torn to shreds and some of the remains couldn’t even be found.”
The bomb disposal squad also reached the blast site and collected evidence. According to squad personnel, the bomb contained high intensity explosive material. Approximately four kilogrammes of explosives had been packed for the bomb. Experts said that the initial examination suggests that the bomb was of the remote controlled variety, but no conclusions could be drawn as yet as more evidence was being collected and examined.
Police officials believe that Karachi was saved from a major attack because of the two men’s unplanned demise. Officials said that the men were apparent terrorists and assessed that one of them was a suspected suicide bomber and the other was probably going to drop him near a possible target. They believe that that the blast was possibly caused when the motorcycle slipped and crashed into electricity wires, which caused the explosion.
Crime Investigation Department (CID) SSP Fayyaz Khan confirmed that there were threats of terror attacks in Karachi, particularly on Chand Raat or during the Eid holiday. “It is difficult to say anything about these men or their motive with 100 per cent certainty,” said Khan. “But there is no doubt that these men were terrorists and wanted to spread destruction.”
According to Khan, while the men’s motive could not be ascertained, they could be from a militant or sectarian organisation. He said that raids were being carried out to develop possible leads and the suspects were also being questioned.
The two dead men were believed to be between the ages of 18 and 25, and one of them had a beard. Their mangled bodies were taken to the Edhi morgue for identification.
SHO Yaqoob Sammon said that the bomb was affixed on a motorcycle and the body parts of the suspected terrorists were collected from the site for further investigation.
According to SHO Sammon, a police mobile van was present a short distance away from the blast site, as officers were deputed for snap checking. He believes that the motorcyclists lost control of their vehicle when they saw the officers on duty. “As soon as they saw the police mobile they turned the motorcycle around,” he explained. “But because of the rain the motorcycle skidded and there was a loud explosion.” He also said that the police found “important documents” from the men and were also trying to trace the ownership of the motorcycle.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2011.
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