KARACHI: In the fourth low-intensity explosion of the week, a 45-year-old man was killed on main University Road at 11 am on Saturday afternoon.
A bomb weighing 2.15 kilogrammes was planted in the middle of the road between the University of Karachi Silver Jubilee and Staff Colony gates. The location could be considered highly sensitive since BA and BSc examinations are in full swing. A large number of students were on campus but did not get hurt.
A motorcyclist identified as Abdul Manaf was injured. He was taken to a private hospital in Gulistan-e-Jauhar where he passed away. Manaf used to live near the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission. His brother-in-law told The Express Tribune that the family was grieving and in no position to comment. The crime scene was cordoned off by the police and Rangers. The Bomb Disposal Squad said that the bomb was similar to the one used at Safoora Goth a day earlier.
The investigators are still trying to figure out the name of the group behind the blasts. Sources in the police told The Express Tribune that about one dozen suspects were being questioned at an undisclosed location.
Witnesses claim that they did not see anyone planting the bomb and had just heard a loud explosion. “Honestly, my heart stopped beating. I was so terrified that I could not move and just lay on the road,” said Zahid, a motorcyclist. “When I saw Munaf, I got up to help him. He was in so much pain.”
Zahid was detained by the authorities but was released after questioning.
Criminal Investigation Agency SSP Raja Umar Khattab said that the bomb was similar to the one used in Friday’s blast and was a low intensity improvised explosive device.
Additional IG Ghulam Shabbir Sheikh told The Express Tribune that suspects were detained. However, he did not give any information about their affiliation with a political party or terrorist group. “The specialised police units are looking into the case,” he said. “I do not want to ruin the investigation by giving out details. It should remain under wraps.” On Friday, three Rangers were killed while four others were injured in a roadside blast near Safoora Goth.
District East SP Salam Sheikh told The Express Tribune that nothing could be ascertained as yet. He added that they could not comment on who the terrorists were targeting. “There is no doubt that this bomb blast was similar to the Safoora Goth blast,” he said. “It looks like the same group is behind both attacks.
In response to a question about the Rangers on duty at the campus, he said an investigation was under way to check if the Rangers on duty at the gates were being targeted.
Rangers Brigadier Waseem Ayub refused to comment when contacted. He said that he was busy with the investigation. FIR no. 504/2011 under section 302, 427/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code was registered at Mobina Town Police.
After receiving frantic phone calls about a blast on campus, most students were wondering if their exams would be postponed – again.
Shireen Jafferi, a of third-year Mass Communication student said that her car was parked at gate no. 2 and she rushed to see if it was alright. “Fortunately, the blast occurred at a little distance,” she said. “I was able to get to the car and leave because I thought the gates would be closed.”
According to Hina Mujeeb, a MS Mass Communication student, she was in the middle of an exam when everyone in the room started receiving phone calls. “The teachers did not know what was happening till one of the students got up and explained the situation,” she said.
with additional reporting by Tehmina Qureshi
Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2011.