Karachi Rangers complex blast kills 3 soldiers

Published: November 9, 2012
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Paramilitary soldiers at the site of the blast. PHOTO: REUTERS

Paramilitary soldiers at the site of the blast. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: 

A massive suicide blast rocked a Pakistan Rangers’ complex in Karachi early morning on Thursday, killing at least three Rangers personnel. Twenty-three others were wounded when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden truck into the entrance of the complex, situated in the city’s North Nazimabad locality.

“Three of our soldiers have been martyred and 18 others wounded in the attack this morning,” Rangers spokesman Major Sibtain told AFP. According to senior police official Khurram Waris, four civilians and a police officer were among the wounded as well.

The blast, which occurred around 7am and was heard miles away, was strong enough to level a portion of the complex and damage several nearby houses, factories and buildings, including the offices of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC). A fire also erupted at the Rangers complex and took three fire tenders to extinguish.

Nearby schools were also closed as panic spread among residents. The KESC administration immediately suspended electricity supply to avoid any untoward incident during rescue work. The entire locality was cordoned off soon and no one from the media was allowed to go inside. Additional security contingents and intelligence officials were deployed at the site.

Karachi police chief Iqbal Mehmood declared the incident a suicide attack upon reaching the site.

“The suicide bomber used a vegetable laden truck to attack the Rangers complex… Around 100kg of explosives were used in the assault,” he said.

Sindh’s Inspector General Police Fayyaz Leghari, meanwhile, claimed tight security at the complex prevented major loss of life.

“The vehicle exploded before the gate of Rangers’ complex because it could not enter inside,” he maintained.

Both Maulana Fazlullah’s Taliban faction and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have claimed responsibility for the attack. Fazlullah’s spokesman Sirajuddin Ahmad claimed the attack was “revenge for the arrest, torture and killing of our people” by security forces in the region. Other reports cited TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan claiming responsibility for the assault and promising more such strikes in the future.

“We had information that some big attack was planned in the city, but had no information regarding possible targets,” District West DIG Javed Odho told The Express Tribune. He said parts of the bomber’s remains had been sent to the laboratory to determine his identity. He further informed that the vehicle’s chassis and registration number had been obtained but were found to be fake.

The victims were moved to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where doctors pronounced two Rangers personnel, identified as Lance Naik Khalid Mehmood and sepoy Abdul Razzak, dead on arrival. The third Rangers sepoy, identified as Imran Wali, died during treatment. The deceased had been on guard duty at the complex’s entrance. The remaining injured Rangers personnel were later moved to PNS Shifa Hospital.

Speaking to The Express Tribune from his hospital bed, injured Rangers official Farooq said he fell unconscious immediately after the blast. “I was preparing for duty when I saw the truck approaching the entrance from a window… It was a very powerful blast… the entire building shook and I was knocked unconscious,” he recalled.

While collecting evidence from the site, bomb disposal squad (BDS) officials discovered that no ball bearings or other shrapnel were used in the explosive device. “In addition to 150kg of high explosive (HE) material, TNT was used in the blast, which helped start the blaze following the blast,” a BDS official told The Express Tribune. 

Meanwhile, security agencies allegedly took two suspects, accused of filming injured Rangers personnel, into custody from the hospital. They, however, neither confirmed nor denied whether the two had been detained. No case against them has been registered either.

(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AGENCIES)

 

Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • YP Toronto
    Nov 9, 2012 - 4:26AM

    If Rangers cant protect themselves how would they protect others.

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  • Imran Khan
    Nov 9, 2012 - 7:19AM

    The bomb seems to have been planted inside the building,you can see all the walls blown outwards and debris fill the compound, If the bomber was outside the walls should have blown inside.
    So this is a Inside Job
    Your Agency

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  • Nov 9, 2012 - 7:37AM

    @YP Toronto: Maybe you should go and help them

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  • Jewcifer
    Nov 9, 2012 - 7:47AM

    @YP Toronto:
    They did their job well. Easy to judge them from our armchairs but it is a different story on the front-lines.

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  • Jewcifer
    Nov 9, 2012 - 7:50AM

    US should hand over Fazlullah from Afghanistan.

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  • O B Server
    Nov 9, 2012 - 8:09AM

    One has to to be prepared to sacrifice himself if he is serious in defending others. One cannot be sitting in a castle or fort to eliminate terrorists.
    Inna lillah e wa inna alaihi rajioon. My condolences to the family of the martyrs. and hope the Govt will take good care of all the affectees..

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  • YP Toronto
    Nov 9, 2012 - 9:00AM

    @Jewcifer: ,
    Caramelized_Onion.

    If you look at the photographs, it seems there is only wall. I have seen high RCC barrier as first line of defense for important buildings and refineries etc in certain parts of worlds where security threats are inevitable.These barriers which are about 8 to 10 feet high are interconnected with steel wires are place about 10 feet before the walls etc. What I mean is one has to take these security threats seriously and has to take all necessary precautions.

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  • Nov 9, 2012 - 9:41AM

    May Allah Almighty rest the Shaheeds in Jannatul Firdous and give Sabar to their families.
    It seems the PPP government is scared of the TTP and has forgotten its priorities. The ‘go-ahead’ for an operation against the terrorists will not be given because either they do not have the funds, training, plus equipment to tackle the militants (e.g. Lyari operation) or the political will to go ahead with it.
    Plausibly, all funds of the Sindh government have been frivolously spent with nothing to show resulting in target killings and now suicide bombings that are evidence of the unfolding scenario. Another reason being the political hobnobbing among politicians.
    The TTP will eventually be defeated by the people of Pakistan and not by a government in “suspended animation.” Salams

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  • shariq
    Nov 9, 2012 - 10:39AM

    Dear Respectable Court

    This is my thorough study that whenever we talk about Rangers are no more required for City scurity, & they have to go back to boaders some incident happens to justify thier presene or to get the sympathies of the decision makers.

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