KARACHI: Two Rangers personnel suffered injuries in a low-intensity blast in one of the most known no-go areas on the city’s outskirt, Manghopir, around noon on Wednesday.
The attack came on the heels of the arrest of about a dozen suspected militants in two separate raids conducted by Rangers in Korangi and Landhi a day earlier.
Initial investigation suggests that the bomb exploded near a Rangers mobile on patrol, wounding two paramilitary soldiers - sub-inspectors Khalid and Shakoor. They were shifted to a hospital, where doctors declared them out of danger as they had suffered minor injuries due to the splintering of windscreen glass.
Extra contingents of Rangers and police arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area. Bomb disposal squad’s experts also came to collect evidence.
A BDS expert while talking to The Express Tribune said that the remote-controlled improvised explosive device contained ball bearings and weighed around one kilogramme.
Police officials believe members of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan were behind the incident, claiming that they targeted the mobile because they were aware of the Rangers movement.
Orangi division SP Chaudhry Asad said that the culprits planted the device on the road to target Rangers officials. The criminals behind this attack might be the same who have been attacking Rangers and police officials in the past.
Sources in police told The Express Tribune that after the attack, law enforcers conducted raids in Manghopir and its neighbourhood, including Kunwari Colony, Sultanabad and Pakhtunabad, and detained a few suspects. The suspects were shifted to an undisclosed location for probe. The officials concerned, however, have not confirmed the arrests. No case has been registered as yet.
On the other hand, Rangers officials said that this was not the first time terrorists had attacked the Rangers, especially in Manghopir. On May 11, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle crashed his bike into a Rangers check post in the same area. “These attacks are happening in reaction to the Rangers’ activities against terrorists,” said a Rangers official. “We will continue our efforts to curb terrorism and restore peace in the city.”
Police have registered FIR No. 172/13 under Section ¾ of the explosive act and 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act against unidentified persons on behalf of the complainant, Jafar Imam.
Imam escaped a bomb attack in Block-8 of Azizabad near BuTurab Imambargah on Tuesday night. He is a member of the BuTurab Scouts and the general-secretary of Sarena Mobile Market in Sakhi Hassan.
The bomb was planted in his Cuoure car. After work, he drove to his brother’s house in Azizabad. It was his lucky day as the bomb went off a few minutes after he dismounted the car.
There are reports that a procession for Youm-e-Ali (RA) was to pass from the same route in a while and the bomb was planted to target the mourners. Police officials, however, denied it and said that the nature of the incident was not sectarian. DSP Saleem Akhtar Siddiqui said that the victim had been receiving threats from extortionists and on his refusal to pay protection money, he was targeted.
The officer said that which group of extortionists was involved has yet to be ascertained.
BDS experts say that about half kilogrammes of explosives was used in the attack. They added that a similar bomb was used to target a Pakistan Navy officer belonging to Shia community and a KESC officer bearer, Farhan Khalil, earlier. Police officials said that such devices were usually used by banned outfits, such as Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.