At least 25 people including women and children were martyred in two bomb blasts in karachi on the occassion of Arbaeen (Chehlum) Imam Hussain (AS) – one at Nursery Bridge on Shahra-e-Faisal and other at Jinnah Postraduate Medical Centre in the city. The first blast occurred at the cityâ€™s main thoroughfare, Shahra-e-Faisal, when an explosive-laden motorcycle rammed into a bus (P-0081) carrying mourners of Imam Hussain (AS) towards Central Procession of Arbaeen at M.A.Jinnah Road, near Nursery (Shahra-e-Faisal) at about 3:03pm. According to the Shiite News Correspondent, The voice of powerful blast that left 14 mourners martyred and wounding approximately 40 mourners including children, the blast was heard within three kilometers range of locality. The windowpanes of surrounding areas were smashed. City police chief Waseem Ahmad told reporters that the motorcycle was rigged with an improvised-explosive device (IED). It remained unclear whether the motorcycle was being driven by anyone when it struck the bus. “The bus was carrying Shia mourners. It was full of people and a motorcycle rammed into the bus. The motorcycle was completely destroyed and the bus was heavily damaged,” said the eyewitness Shahid Hasan. “Fourteen mourners were martyred and 40 others injured in the first blast. The children and women were among the injureds,” Dr. Seemi Jamali, Head of the Emergency Department at JPMC confirmed to newsmen. The mourners were hailed from defunct district Malir of Karachi and affilated with the mourners association named “Hussaini Azadar Tanzeem” Malir. Heavy contingent of police and Rangers cordonned off the scene after the blast. Dozens of ambulances of Edhi, Chhipa and city government rushed to the scene and initiated rescue operation. The bodies and injured were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and later injured were moved to two major private hospitals of city. Exactly after the passage of two hours, the second powerful bomb blast took place outside the Emergency Ward of the JPMC, killing 11 people and injuring at least 40. It has shaken building of the medical facility and nearby buildings. â€A cloud of thick black smoke was blowing up from JPMC,â€ told the relatives of victims and rescuers while they were heading towards hospital at Shahra-e-Faisal. Police and hospital staff said by the time the explosion took place with big bang. â€Almost all people injured in first blast wereÂ transported to private hospitals from the JPMC. Thatâ€™s why casualties remained less,â€ they added. Munir Sheikh, an official of Bomb Disposal Squad believed the second blast too was caused by an explosives-laden motorcycle left abandoned in the hospitalâ€™s parking lot. Bomb defusing experts found another live explosive device planted at Computerâ€™s monitor near JPMCâ€™s motorcycle parking premises. The device was successfully defused. Second explosion damaged parts of hospitalâ€™s building and three ambulances parked outside trauma centre. The attack happened at the Nursery bridge on the main Shahrah-i-Faisal highway in the centre of Karachi, shattering windows in nearby buildings. It may be noted that on 28 December 2009, a massive bombing in Ashura procession killed 43 people in the city. However, Bomb Disposal Squad was called following the presence of a TV monitor having an explosive device found infront of emergency ward at Jinnah Hospital. The Rangers also arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area while the bomb containing TV monitor was taken behind a wall. Bomb Disposal Squad official said that the bomb was similar to the devices used in earlier two blasts in which 25 persons were martyred and hundreds others injured.
March 20, 2011