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Panic as cracker blasts resound across Sindh

25 January, 2014

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HYDERABAD: Low-intensity explosions in several cities of Sindh on Friday evening spread panic and fear.

According to media reports, small bombs exploded back to back in different cities of the province. At least six hand grenade attacks were reported from Hyderabad and five cracker blasts from Larkana. There were no reported casualties from the blasts, but two people were injured. Media reports said the first attack occurred at Koh-i-Noor in Hyderabad, where a hand grenade was hurled by men on a motorcycle. More attacks occurred at Haider Chowk, Liberty Chowk, Latifabad No 7 and other areas of the city near police stations.

Similar attacks were reported from Kotri, Noshero Feroze, Bhit Shah, Matiari and Hala. There were reports of seven near-simultaneous small intensity blasts in Dadu as well. There were also seven reported blasts in Ranipur area of Sindh. Police claimed the attacks were orchestrated by the Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaaz (JSMM), a Sindhi nationalist group which has called for a strike against MQM chief Altaf Hussain's remarks over partition of Sindh. The JSMM was included in the government's proscribed organisations' list last March.

Police arrested several suspects following the blasts and recovered pamphlets calling for a strike. There were explosions in Karachi as well. Three low-intensity explosives were hurled at an eatery in the port city on Friday. The bomb was hurled at the eatery located on Nagan Chowrangi. Two more explosions were heard at Qayyumabad Chowrangi near the KPT Interchange. There were no immediate reports of any injuries.

Hyderabad SSP Syed Irfan Bahadur said the police will deal strongly with the miscreants carrying out cracker attacks in the district. Talking to media while visiting the sites of the cracker attacks, the SSP said the SHOs of the relevant police stations where the attacks had occurred have been suspended while a suspect has been arrested. "We have nabbed a suspect who threw crackers in parts of Jamshoro District," he told reporters, adding that the police also recovered from the suspect a cracker and a pamphlet about the strike of JSMM.

Meanwhile, Jamshoro SSP Syed Wasee Hyder said that police have arrested three suspects, one of whom was identified as Mukhtiar Laghari, who was apprehended from Sehwan along with an unlicensed handgun. The SSP did not disclose the identities of the other two suspects who he said were arrested from Kotri town. JSMM called a strike in the province on Saturday (today) against the cracker blasts. Following these incidents, police and law enforcers have beefed up security across the province. Analysts suspect these attacks to be a typical pre-strike panicking tactic to ensure scared citizens stay at home for their own safety.

End.

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