Safora massacre death toll rises to 45 as Ismaili community say their last goodbyes

Published: May 14, 2015
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Just a day after the deadly attack on Karachi’s Ismaili community, the death toll rose to 45 as two critically injured succumbed to their injuries, Rizwan Jamil, communications officer for the Ismaili council of Pakistan confirmed Thursday.

The deaths come after funeral prayers for the 43 deceased were conducted in the city earlier today, with volunteers and scouts wearing their uniforms; which is only required during crucial moments in the community.

PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

The funeral of one victim, Sani Sultan Ali from Salimabad took place on Wednesday evening.

PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

People dispersed after the funeral, while children sat in silence in the courtyard inside the colony. Men departed for the graveyard. The Ismaili community will conduct prayers for the martyrs in their evening prayers.

President Aga Khan Council for Pakistan Iqbal Walji expressed his gratitude to the government, Army, political leaders and general public for their support.

Walji also acknowledged the assurance given by the authorities to ensure the safety and security of the Ismaili community in the country.

Culprits hail from Afghanistan

Initial investigation reports revealed that the culprits hailed from Afghanistan.

PHOTO: AFP

On the day of the attack, in which 45 persons including women and children were killed, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said that some clues were found at the crime scene but was unable to share these due to security reasons.

Read: Macabre violence: Ugly face of terror

The men are said to hail from Afghanistan and allegedly ran a small hotel business in the city. A search operation is under way and investigation continues in efforts to bring the culprits to justice.

According to forensics experts, the attackers used multiple types of weapons, including 9mm pistols and sub machine guns.

PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

The whole nation was saddened by the attack in which three of the assailants climbed aboard the alAzhar Gardens bus and opened fire at the 51 passengers on board the bus.

“People of Sindh, particularly Karachi think it is an attack on their home,” Sharjeel Memon said when he addressed the media on Wednesday.

PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

Condolences poured in from across the world as rescue efforts and investigation and search operations commenced.

Investigation has led to the identification of the culprits who were reportedly dressed in western attire and fled the scene on two motorbikes.

A day of mourning is also being observed across the province.

“The government has failed the Ismailis”

Addressing the media, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui ascertained that yesterday’s incident was proof that a lot is yet to be done in the country.

“The government failed to provide security to this community,” he said.

PHOTO: AFP

He added that “the incident has impacted everyone in the country and that the party would fight for the rights of every citizen.”

“Sindh CM should hand in resignation” 

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain in a statement urged Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to resign from his post on Thursday.

Read: Safora massacre: Important leads found from crime scene, says Sharjeel

On the day of the attack, CM Sindh while addressing the media confirmed the suspension of SHO and DSP of the area.

“This is an unprecedented incident and we will find those responsible,” he said.

PHOTO: AFP

He also added that “The pamphlet shows that terrorists have carried out the attack and they will not be left at any cost.”

He ordered for an inquiry into the incident and sought a report within a week.

Further, the CM also announced compensation for victims of the bus attack in Karachi, promising Rs0.5m for victims’ families. 

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Pity
    May 14, 2015 - 11:04AM

    We know these mercenaries are being handled by India from Afghanistan. Recommend

  • Fahim
    May 14, 2015 - 11:04AM

    Kindly don’t abuse poor Afghanis now on instead try to make our system more powerful; full with justice. Open our doors to people of world who are in problemRecommend

  • Sun Tzu
    May 14, 2015 - 11:11AM

    “Strategic Asset” Policy is paying back – with interest.Recommend

  • Muhammad Shoaib
    May 14, 2015 - 11:14AM

    So much details should not be published in media because now the culprits will definitely be knowing that they have been exposed and thus; they will make every efforts to escape their arrest. By, publishing these details the LEAs have lost the elements of surprise to nab these people. Anyhow we must appreciate our LEAs for qickly identifying these culprits.Recommend

  • kashif
    May 14, 2015 - 11:20AM

    Let’s hope for good.Recommend

  • Khan
    May 14, 2015 - 11:20AM

    Culprits hailed from Afghanistan, ran a small hotel business in Karachi, planned the attack, successfully executed it and by now probably would be back in Afghanistan.

    This is how our beloved country is being run, everyone sleeping!!Recommend

  • Feroz
    May 14, 2015 - 12:01PM

    Never knew that Jundullah was an Afghan group, why do they claim to be Pakistani ? Sectarian attacks are endemic to Pakistan, not Afghanistan. I hope the case is not closed by claiming the culprits were shot dead in an encounter.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    May 14, 2015 - 12:05PM

    @Khan
    Your beloved country has become a barbaric battleground and needs to return to dialogue and peace, if it wants to remain in the fold of civilised Nations of the world. Violence certainly whether sponsored by the State or non State actors. Violence is certainly not the right course wherever in the world is witnessed, to achieving peace among the communities.

    Rex Minor : Recommend

  • Milind
    May 14, 2015 - 12:17PM

    @Pity – “We know these mercenaries are being handled by India from Afghanistan. ”

    Pity you…. having evil neighbours… But how were these running a hotel in Karachi?Recommend

  • Thotatum25
    May 14, 2015 - 12:21PM

    @Pity:
    Please read the comment from Khan below yours. You still think India is behind it? Pity. Nothing will change in Pakistan as long as people have the kind of mentality that you do. Recommend

  • singh
    May 14, 2015 - 12:33PM

    You seem to be a desperate person.@Pity: Recommend

  • Abbas
    May 14, 2015 - 12:45PM

    No Doubt ! very bad incident. but Mr. Aga Khan never condemn any incident. even 16 Dec-2014.. Recommend

  • Arsalan
    May 14, 2015 - 1:14PM

    How come people from Afghanistan came in our motherland and were running a hotel business and our agency never knew about it???? a big question mark on law enforcement agency capabilities Recommend

  • Abid Riaz
    May 14, 2015 - 1:14PM

    Here comes the RAW theory again. Recommend

  • Aslam
    May 14, 2015 - 1:15PM

    This is all Punjab that KILL Sindhis, Balochs and Pashtons within Pakistan.Recommend

  • Abbas
    May 14, 2015 - 1:44PM

    no doubt ! very bad Incident but Mr. Aga Khan never condemn any incident even 16- Dec-2014Recommend

  • Adnan
    May 14, 2015 - 1:47PM

    Well, FO clearly blame India. And by saying Afghanistan does not mean Afghans as we know Indian offices are working from there. Quit silly attempts to divert attention.Recommend

  • kickass
    May 14, 2015 - 4:27PM

    @Rex Minor:
    You will remain a minor. Grow up or shut up .Recommend

  • Rex
    May 14, 2015 - 4:45PM

    Blaming RAW for these killings is like running salt on the wounds of the Martyr families… FIND OUT THE REALLY CULPRITS.. stop diverting attention Recommend

  • iKnow
    May 14, 2015 - 4:55PM

    I’m really saddened if the Indian Intelligence agency is behind it. I really want Pak & India to come to the table and sort out the difference. Accept each other’s rights and opinions as much as possible. I know it won’t be easy but there is still lot of miles to walk before we can even see the doors… to land of peace and fortune. This, definitely is not the answer to release of Lakhvi.Recommend

  • Sam
    May 14, 2015 - 5:50PM

    Very interesting to see that the entrance has Al Azhar written in Urdu and in Gujarati. Gujarati is their language as much as Urdu is and it is praiseworthy that even 65+ years after partition they still hold on to it.Recommend

  • doesnt matter
    May 16, 2015 - 4:23AM

    @Abbas:
    Mind you, he is not a political leader but a spiritual one. As already known that ismailis keep a relatively low profile and that doesn’t mean he has to condemn the attack on 16th December publicly like political leaders do. I am sure he was aware of the incident and saddened by that as well. Recommend

  • unknown
    May 16, 2015 - 12:59PM

    I am also very sad after listening of deadly attack on the Ismaili community because I am also of this community.”May Allah enter my all Ismaily partners in paradise. Recommend

  • Shahid
    May 16, 2015 - 1:10PM

    Where is Imran Khan , he can visit Multan to beg vote for Provincial Assembly but cannot visit
    Karachi on this occasion. He is hungry for power , speak about poor people and cannot come to Karachi for some words of sympathy for the families of the deceased ones. Shame on himRecommend

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