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Six killed as bus bomb explodes in Karachi

30 December, 2012

KARACHI: A Pakistani volunteer runs past a destroyed burning bus at the site of an explosion in Karachi.
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KARACHI: At least six people, including a woman and a child, were killed in a mysterious blast in an intercity bus near Cantt Station on Saturday.

The explosion damaged three vehicles, a pushcart and several shops. According to reports, the blast occurred at 3:07pm and was followed by a fire in the bus. Nearby shops, over a dozen pushcarts and three vehicles were also damaged in the blast. A heavy contingent of law enforcers and Bomb Disposal Squad reached the scene following the explosion. Fire brigade vans rushed to the site and law enforcers cordoned off the area.

The injured and dead bodies were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK). The blast caused panic in the area and led to suspension of vehicular traffic on roads leading to the Cantt Station and adjoining areas. Police officials and investigators dispelled the impression that any foul play was involved and claimed that it was either a CNG cylinder blast or an air conditioner compressor had exploded.

However, a mechanic who had inspected the bus before the blast contradicted the police claim and said no CNG cylinder was installed in the bus and it ran on diesel. He added that long-distance intercity buses operated on diesel. He also said that the bus had reached Karachi from Sargodha at around 11am and was to leave for Sargodha at around 3:00 pm. He further claimed that the bus had a capacity of 45 passengers and at the time of explosion, at least 11 people, including two drivers, a security guard and seven passengers were sitting in the bus.

However, it was not immediately clear what had caused the blast in Sadar, a congested shopping area of Karachi, officials said, adding that a bomb disposal team was trying to determine whether it was caused by a bomb or an exploding CNG cylinder. "At least five people were killed and 35 others were wounded," police surgeon Jalil Qadir told AFP.


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