KARACHI: The New Year in the violence-hit metropolis started with a blast on Tuesday killing four and injuring 42 others.
The explosion that occurred in the parking area set up for the participants of public gathering of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) in the Azizabad Ground near headquarters of MQM.
The jalsa that concluded just before the blast was addressed by MQM chief Altaf Hussain and TMQ chief Allama Dr. Tahirul Qadri.
The explosion that was heard several kilometers away occurred when a bomb planted on a motorcycle parked near buses went off resulting in panic in the area and worst traffic jam at the surrounding roads.
Three buses and several vehicles standing near the motorcycle were damaged by the blast while motorcycle used in the blast was completely destroyed. The explosion also damaged nearby buildings and shops.
An eyewitness said the explosion occurred when the MQM workers were about to board their buses after attending the jalsa.
Officials at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital said they had received more than 30 injured people and three of them were in a serious condition. However, Sindh Health Minister Sagheer Ahmed told media that as many as 4 were killed and 42 others injured in the explosion.
Police and Sindh Rangers cordoned off the area and began collecting evidence after the blast. Police officials told the media the bomb was planted in a motorcycle parked near a maternity home in the parking area. SP Police, Imran Shaukat told 2 kg locally-manufactured explosive had been used in the blast.
Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf, Governor Sindh Dr. Ishratul Ebad Khan, CM Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif, JI’s Liaquat Balooch, ANP’s Shahi Syed and other leaders had condemned the blast. MQM Chief while flaying the blast said such cowardly acts could not stop MQM for its struggles for revolution.
Moreover, the Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon had condemned the blast and termed it a conspiracy to destroy the peace of Karachi. He said the government was taking steps for halting the act of terrorism, however, the masses would also have to come forward for eradicating the menace.
He informed the Chief Minister Sindh had taken notice of the blast and summoned a report from the IG police.
Published on January 2, 2013