The police have identified two of the five suspected terrorists from the Sea View bomb blast as Karachi residents Shoibur Rehman and Attiqur Rehman.
According to CID official SP Mazhar Mashwani, they were aged between 22 and 25 years.
Meanwhile, the Hyderabad police had their own disclosures to make. The vehicle the terrorists used had passed through many hands before its final mission, police revealed on Thursday after investigating suspects who had owned it periodically since 2005.
The police picked up five people, one after another, in late night raids following the attack in Karachi. However, they were all released after they were proven to be uninvolved.
The Suzuki hi-roof, which exploded at the sea front, was registered under Maqbool Khokhar’s name, a resident of Khokhar Mohala near Law College in Hyderabad. City DSP Ahmed Qureshi arrested Khokhar and his son, Bilal Khokhar, from their house at 1:30 am on Thursday.
Investigations revealed that the vehicle passed through three other people in Hyderabad before being sold to a party in Badin. In the ensuing raids, police detained Shahmeer Qureshi, Muhammad Javed and Bashir Ahmed Durrani, for possession of the vehicle.
According to Bilal Khokhar, who was released after a few hours, his father had bought the hi-roof through a bank lease in 2005. They sold it to their tenant, Shameer Qureshi, just six to seven months later. Qureshi runs a motorcycle shop and lives in Latifabad.
This led the police to Ahmed Durrani, the fourth owner, who sold it to Iqbal Afridi of Badin in 2010. “I have showed the police the receipt of the transaction,” the used car dealer told The Express Tribune. Afridi owns a tyre shop in Badin, said Durrani.
City DSP Ahmed Qureshi said that the police have found no evidence implicating the four people and, after waiting for orders from Karachi, they released them on Thursday night.
Although the DNA reports have yet to determine whether any of the bodies of the suspects belonged to a woman, investigators are looking into this possibility on the basis of the fact that one of the pairs of legs had “small feet.” Also, a ball of shoulder-length light brown hair attached to a piece of scalp indicated a woman was there.
A Crime Investigation Department SP speculated that the actual target was Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine as the ghussal ceremony (washing of the saint’s grave) was scheduled to be held at midnight that day.
Another officer with the Special Investigation Unit ruled out a chase by constables on motorcycles as there were no tyre tracks or clues to an exchange of fire. Even the guards posted at the parking lot outside the Village restaurant said they heard no exchange of fire before the blast.
Also, while the chaos was unfolding outside the restaurant with convoy after convoy of police vehicles arriving at the blast site and a bomb disposal squad defusing another suicide jacket nearby, most people inside continued to carry on with their late-night dinner. A woman who walked out of the Village around midnight said her table shook when the blast took place, but she had no idea it happened so close by.
Police Surgeon Dr Hamid Parhyar confirmed that none of the bodies bore any bullet wounds and all of them died from bomb pellets. He put the toll at seven, including two police constables Maula Bakhsh and Mamraiz Iqbal, three bodies of suspected terrorists, and two pairs of legs.
Police officials who spoke with The Express Tribune deny that any jihadi literature, burka, or night-vision goggles were recovered from the crime scene as reported by TV channels.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2011.
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