KARACHI: One passerby was killed and at least nine injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted in a motorbike went off in a busy area of Saddar late Thursday night, according to officials.
The blast took place in the commercial locality of Saddar, which remains crowded at night because of the presence of restaurants and eateries on Daud Pota Road near the city’s oldest United Bakery.
Dr Summaiya Syed, the additional police surgeon of Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre, said that so far, a body of young man and nine injured persons, including three teenagers, have been brought to the hospital. She said that the condition of two wounded persons was "critical".
The explosion caused substantive damage to property, including vehicles, in the area. Footage from the site showed a vehicle belonging to the Pakistan Coast Guards was also damaged in the explosion.
Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar informed Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah that an improvised explosive device (IED) was used, said the latter's spokesperson in a statement.
According to the preliminary probe report, it appeared that the IED was attached to a motorbike, the IGP was quoted as saying.
Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon told Dawn that the nature of the explosion was being determined. He said it would be "premature" to say whether the blast was intended to target a vehicle of Pakistan Coast Guard. He did, however, say that it was not the regular route of the maritime agency's vehicle.
DIG-South Sharjeel Kharal, in a media talk, said: "According to the information received yet, the device went off at 11:20pm. As of right now, I do not think that any institution or a particular vehicle was the target."
CM Sindh took notice of the incident and sought a report from the city police chief and Karachi commissioner while also declaring an emergency at two nearby hospitals, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and Karachi Civil Hospital.
A team of the Bomb Disposal Squad as well as officials of the police’s Counter-Terrorism Department reached the site of the blast to conduct an investigation.
“Investigation was being carried out from every possible angle,” according to Sindh IGP Mahar.
Administrator Karachi, Barrister Wahab said that the police and other law enforcement agencies were assessing the situation.
Quoting the doctors at the JPMC, the administrator Karachi said that most of the injured suffered wounds caused by "ball bearings".
He said the terrorists wanted to sabotage peace in the metropolis, as he vowed to bring the culprits to justice.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed regret over the incident and extended condolences to the deceased's family. He prayed for the quick recovery of the injured and instructed CM Shah to provide the best medical care to them.
The prime minister said "terrorism will be wiped out" working in conjunction with provincial governments.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also took notice of the incident and summoned a report from the chief secretary and the IGP.
"The federal government will provide full support to the Sindh government for a comprehensive investigation into the incident," he said.
Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri rued that another "terrorist attack" had struck Karachi.