Rush hour terror: 8 dead as twin blasts rip through Karachi market

Published: September 19, 2012
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Relatives of blast victims arrive at a hospital following the bomb explosions. PHOTO: AFP

Relatives of blast victims arrive at a hospital following the bomb explosions. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: 

Eight people were killed and twenty four injured when two improvised explosive devices ripped through a quiet Bohri community centre in quick succession in the Hyderi area where just one month ago another bomb had been found and defused.

The first bomb, planted next to a tree and triggered by a remote-control device, went off at 7.30 pm behind Dolmen Centre, according to Deputy Inspector General (DIG) West Akram Naeem Bharoka.

The bomb was planted just a couple of hundred metres from the area’s Bohri Jamaat Khaana and people were returning from their prayers at the time of the first blast during rush hour. As people fled towards the middle of the street where food vendors, shops and flats are located, the second bomb planted in a motorcycle went off — causing the bulk of the casualties.

“This is where we eat, where we chat, where we meet at night. The bomb went off right next to an ice cream vendor and at that very time a young girl was buying an ice cream cone from there,” Mohammad Mustafa, a resident of the area told The Express Tribune.

According to the DIG, both explosive devices had approximately three kilogrammes of explosives in it and were filled with ball bearings.

“What is extraordinary is the high density of pellets used in these blasts. There were at least five to eight kilogrammes of pellets in each bomb, which is something we don’t usually see. It was a high-intensity blast,” Bharoka revealed.

The walls of the surrounding buildings were pockmarked from the pellets up to the third and fourth floors with some holes easily measuring four to five inches in diameter.

The motorbike that was used in the second blast had been traced by the police and belonged to Hanif, a resident of Lines Area. Police sources added that the bike had been stolen from its owner last month in Rizvia but authorities had failed to complete the FIR.

Most residents of the area – predominantly Bohris – were in shock. “These people keep to themselves and don’t have a conflict with anyone. They don’t say anything against Shias or Sunnis,” a resident told The Express Tribune. “But it is clear that they were targeting the community.”

DIG Bharoka confirmed that most of those dead and wounded belonged to the Bohri community and that “this was a clear case of them being targeted” but the officer did not provide any motive as to why this was the case.

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah also took notice of the incident and sought a report from IG Sindh.

Bharoka said the blasts shared similarities, in structure of the bomb and the techniques used, to the explosion that took place near the Chinese Consulate in Clifton late July and said the two incidents might be linked.

Meanwhile, MQM chief Altaf Hussain strongly condemned the bomb blasts and expressed grief on the deaths and injuries caused. He termed the incident “a blatant act of terrorism”.

He said that terrorist elements wanted to create confusion in the country by giving way to uncertainty in Karachi. He offered condolences to the grieving families and demanded serious action against the perpetrators from the government.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rehman Malik ordered the formation of a joint committee to investigate the twin blasts. According to a press release, the committee would be led by the Karachi Police IG. Rangers and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) representatives will be part of it. Malik directed the FIA to send their teams to the locations and collect evidence.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (40)

  • Uza Syed
    Sep 19, 2012 - 3:07AM

    Bohri community is one of the most civilized and peace loving communities in Pakistan. They are the most disciplined and organized people here, they are never part of any political or religious controversy and most of can and should try to learn a thing or two from these people. I’ve hreat admiration, respect and love for the Bohri community here and I wish to register my sympathy and solidarity with them as well as I wish to apologies for this sad incident and condemn this.

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  • Ahmad
    Sep 19, 2012 - 3:45AM

    Somebody wrote a couple of days before in a article about the visit of Bohris Spiritual Leader to KHI that Bohris are the most peaceful community after Ahmadies,

    What do you think “They who caused this” like you or anyone else to remain in PEACE ?

    That’s an unlawful state my friends, protect yourself or “expect more” !

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  • Not me
    Sep 19, 2012 - 3:57AM

    Peaceful Bhori Shia community has been targeted in largest city of the country..This is shameful.The state has failed to provide security.It has no right to govern

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  • tahir
    Sep 19, 2012 - 4:24AM

    It was a remote controlled bomb….They saw the 10 year old girl buying an ice cream cone.. and detonated the device..

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  • John
    Sep 19, 2012 - 4:25AM

    What a shame. Another community under attack. Wonder will this ever stop let alone who will have the courage to stop all this violence.

    Heartfelt condolence to bereaved families.Recommend

  • Not me
    Sep 19, 2012 - 5:24AM

    Let me with disappointment add : why has MQM, PPP, PML-N. PTI, JI not condemned this sad incidence. Makes me wonder………….

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  • aysha
    Sep 19, 2012 - 5:48AM

    Extremely tragic. Bohri community forms an educated, contributing and pacifist stratum of society. My heart bleeds at what is happening to Karachi. I have known and shopped in the area where the bomb went off. Condolences with the families of the deceased, may Allah give them sabr-e jameel.
    I don’t know how many people they want dead before policing can be handed over to the residents of Karachi, who have one and only one permanent address and that is located in Karachi and nowhere else. The city can only be managed by those who live in the city and get buried in the city of Karachi.

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  • jiwcds@gmail.com
    Sep 19, 2012 - 6:28AM

    We cannot let Indian special agents keep performing these terrorist acts and do nothing. They need to know we will not this.

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  • khalid
    Sep 19, 2012 - 7:09AM

    Ethnic and religious cleansing is at its peak in Pakistan, the government is busy protecting its president and making it sure they win the next election, the judiciary keeps on releasing these elements for lac of evidence, the armed forces are busy fighting the war in FATA, the country for sure is heading at a fast pace towards anarchy and destruction.. Now the most peaceful community the Bohris are the target. where will it end ?

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  • Analyser
    Sep 19, 2012 - 8:00AM

    Karachi is bleeding!!!!!!the city shares 67 percent of the revenue for the country has no security for the people of Karachi

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  • YP Toronto
    Sep 19, 2012 - 8:14AM

    I know many Bohries, these are decent and peaceful people. Pl. accept our heartfelt condolences
    .

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  • Disgusted
    Sep 19, 2012 - 8:29AM

    Does any body in Pakistan find this to be a depressing situation? How can you live like this?

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  • Discriminated
    Sep 19, 2012 - 8:32AM

    The bohri community does business with its own people and never allows any sort of competition to flourish in the area alienating themselves from the general community.
    They have blocked the major roads with barriers for security which create problems for the Others since they have also blocked some important roads adjacent to Kda roundabout.
    Government has built all the roads in the bohri area in hyderi on priority while the rest of the roads remain broken.
    Due to their close association with the MQM and PPP, bohri community has also sided themselves politically.
    There is a general resentment against their biased attitude in the entire neighborhood.

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  • A Pakistani
    Sep 19, 2012 - 9:35AM

    My Heartfelt Condolences to the Bohri Community.
    my heart bleeds for their loss.Recommend

  • Muhammad Panah Hunza
    Sep 19, 2012 - 9:48AM

    It is really painful incident with the Bohri community! they are decent, loyal and civilized community in Pakistan. my offer my condolence and sympathy is with late people May Allah keep their souls in peace! Ameen

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  • "I want peace"
    Sep 19, 2012 - 9:51AM

    @Discriminated, are you trying to justify the blasts by saying all these what you said?? Do you think WE have done something wrong by blocking roads for our safety where 99% residents belongs to our community?

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  • Thinker
    Sep 19, 2012 - 9:53AM

    I am sorry to say this , but this proves the innocence of muslims.

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  • Umer
    Sep 19, 2012 - 9:59AM

    A peaceful community suffers a great loss ! The city cries over this incident. My relatives (non bohris) died in the blast too. Bohris are definately educated, civilized and have contributed a lot towards the development of the city.
    Whenever I use to go to Hyderi (the place of incident). I always felt that this is the city of lights.
    Shameful act. Government should resign, if they cant protect us.

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  • Sep 19, 2012 - 10:10AM

    I come from Nagpur, a city with large bohri community. Bohris are wonderful people and doing extremely well in trade and business. My heartfelt condolences to the families who have suffered this tragic blow.

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  • Azad
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:17AM

    @jiwcds@gmail.com:

    Do not blame India when you cannot control fanatics. Majority of Bohras in the world live in india . They coexist and live with the rest of their compatriots peacefully in india.

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  • maryamurtaza
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:21AM

    in response to the Discriminated One:

    So for blocking the roads and keeping themselves to themselves a community needs to be bashed up or better still BLASTED!!! what an outrageously atrocious remark!!!! As for the resentment ….. this is exactly what this country has become a burning, smoldering cauldron of resentment, envy, hatred and intolerance.

    There are no political affliations whatsoever. you need to get your facts correct! As far as the barriers are concerned why dont u object to the barriers erected around the entire city……. the entire country. u must take a look at the constitution Avenue in Islamabad where the very people who have voted the high and mighty to power are not even allowed to venture near….
    Talk about security

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  • Talib
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:25AM

    Totally disagreed with discriminated, their areas are well mannered because they are devoted for their own welfare.
    I know this doesn’t make any difference, but my sympathies are with them. I know some of them from my childhood school and pray for their safety.

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  • Wajib
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:40AM

    A Muslim can never target another Muslim, no matter how weak his faith. If only we investigate these attacks we can easily get india declared a state sponsor of terrorism.

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  • Umer
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:43AM

    Again reminds us of Martin Niemoller’s famous saying. No one is safe till all are safe. This has hit at the heart of the Bohra community. Fakhru should ensure all sects, religions are fairly represented in elections and they are fair and impartial, now that the reality has hit home.

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  • Salem
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:49AM

    @ Discriminated.. Your comments are pathetic and utterly shameful.. And I am not a Bohri..

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  • subjective
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:55AM

    Discriminated: There are many shops owned by khojas and other community in that area, so your assumption about competition is ridiculous, obviously they are in majority there so most of the shops and businesses are owned by them.

    Regarding gated community its because of the situation of law and order, government was unable to protect people and this is the case in most of the localities of Karachi where barriers are constructed.

    Bohras and Agha Khanis are mainly to themselves and there’s nothing wrong with it, they are not harming others atleast!

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  • Ejaaz
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:58AM

    Pakistan is burning, figuratively and literally. Elements, both inside and outside that country are responsible. What the country needs now is martial law and severe restrictions on movement of people and goods. Many a times, freedom can lead to chaos if manhandled and misused by the bad elements. Time to change course pakistan or die!!! uve got too many enemies both inside and outside and a lack of strategy and will.

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  • Adam
    Sep 19, 2012 - 2:38PM

    First of all , it’s not bohri it’s Dawoodi Bohra , before you write an article make sure you have your facts straight.

    Second of all it’s not the bohri jamaat khana there , there is a huge dawoodi Bohra Masjid , where we all go for prayers. So do not classify our masjid as a jamaat khana because that’s not what it is.

    It is the responsibility of the media to know politically terminology apart from being grammatically correct , the terms being used are proper nouns that do not have alternatives.

    I sincerely hope you make the reflected changes in the article and repost it again.

    Thank you.

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  • Uza Syed
    Sep 19, 2012 - 6:10PM

    @maryamurtaza: Your outrage at absurd remarks of someone who feels ‘discriminated’ is understandable. You did right, insane folks must be discouraged to display their absurdity so blatantly. Yes, indeed, sadly our society has been reduced to, ” burning, smoldering cauldron of resentment, envy, hatred and intolerance.”—or at least so it seems. However, let’s not let our pain and anger create so much of negativity that there are no hopes and desire to live together peacefully. After all we have been living together as good neighbors and citizens all these years and we still can. Recommend

  • MH
    Sep 19, 2012 - 7:41PM

    This is awful. Where does it all stop. Shameful.

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  • shockofiedtechno
    Sep 19, 2012 - 8:27PM

    @ Discriminated: Having barriers and having roads closed is not an exceptional thing in Karachi. Most of the housing societies in Karachi, for the protection of their residents have barriers and checkpost. Such actions are as a result of the Government’s tardiness to protect their own citizens.
    About the roads, why were the roads adjacent to the ex-nazim’s house in North Nazimabad, paved and re-done in 3 months?

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  • preach-less
    Sep 19, 2012 - 8:38PM

    @YP Toronto
    almost all the peaceful and decent people in Pakistan are running for their dear life..

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  • Discriminated
    Sep 20, 2012 - 12:27AM

    My only point is… Don’t make them sound like angels!
    The rift between PPP MQM is no secret for the people of north nazimabad!
    The internal conflict between the bohri community is not being publicized.
    Bohris are not politically neutral! They have actively participated in last elections and it is a norm in Pakistani politics for politically affiliated people to be targeted.
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  • M
    Sep 20, 2012 - 3:19PM

    “They don’t say anything against Shias or Sunnis,” a resident told The Express Tribune.

    Are you kidding me?

    While there is no justification for such a henious act committed against any being regardless of colour or creed. My heart truely goes out to the victims, and their families but let’s not exaggerate.

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  • RedM
    Sep 20, 2012 - 3:25PM

    “They don’t say anything against Shias or Sunnis,” a resident told The Express Tribune.

    Are you kidding me?

    My heart truely goes out to the victims, and their families. I personally feel that there is no justification for such a henious act committed against any living being regardless of colour or creed, but let’s not exaggerate.

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  • RedM
    Sep 20, 2012 - 3:28PM

    “They don’t say anything against Shias or Sunnis,” a resident told The Express Tribune.

    Are you kidding me?

    My heart truely goes out to the victims, and their families. I personally feel that there is no justification for such a henious act committed against any living being regardless of colour or creed, but let’s not exaggerate.Recommend

  • truly disgusted
    Sep 20, 2012 - 7:23PM

    @discriminated: being politically active is not a sin in fact it is a positive trait in any civilized nation but it is the bigoted minds like yourself who have made politics sound like a dirty game. and by the way even if it is a sin i think no sin is grave enough to deserve a punishment like that. It is true that communities are targeted due to various reasons but Im sure every reader here is condemning the barbaric act and not trying to defend the bohra community but since they are good peopleLets Give The Devil His Due`. Who so ever the target maybe and whatever reason, it is a shameful act and do you think your cruel justifications are justified???

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  • Aliasgar (AT)
    Sep 20, 2012 - 9:08PM

    “I don’t understand why this has occurred. We are a peaceful community.”

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  • a true human
    Sep 20, 2012 - 10:47PM

    @Wajib: do leave INDIA out of all these ..and try to find the culprit within your own country

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  • Sep 21, 2012 - 9:59AM

    I can say with pride that India is the only country in the world where all the sects of Muslims co exist and live with peace, practicing their faith with out fear.

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