KARACHI: In a blast that took place near a meat shop in Ghotki, two Rangers officials and a civilian lost their lives. According to Senior Superintendent of Police Farrukh Lunjar, the blast took place near a Rangers van that was parked in a market. At least three people were injured in the blast.
The area was cordoned off by police and Rangers, the SSP said, adding that investigations were under way.
The martyred officials were identified as Zahoor Ahmed and Fayyaz Ahmed while the civilian was identified as Ghulam Mustafa. According to the police, Zahoor and Fayyaz regularly bought meat from the shop. It is not yet clear if the attack was targeted.
The deceased as well as the injured were taken to Civil Hospital. The nature of the blast has yet to be ascertained.
A team of the bomb disposal squad was dispatched from Sukkur but had a road accident near Ghotki, said group officer Qadir Baksh. Three officials have been injured and were shifted to a nearby hospital.
Separately, a man lost his life while a Rangers personnel Munawar was injured in a hand grenade attack, Additional Inspector General (AIG) Ghulam Memon Nabi said. The attack took place near a centre of the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme in Karachi’s Liaquatabad area, police said.
Seven others have also been injured, in what was earlier termed as a cracker explosion.
When asked about the possible motives of the attack, Nabi said that the police had “some clues” but could not share it with the media at this stage. He said that the police were investigating the incident.
Shortly after reports of explosions in Ghotki and Karachi emerged, a cracker explosion also took place in Larkana outside a public school, where a Rangers van was parked. There were no casualties, police said.
Police and Rangers cordoned off the area soon after the explosion.
Counter-Terrorism Department official Raja Umer Khattab said that the primary target of the attacks was Rangers and added that the claims made by a Sindhi sub-nationalist group were being investigated.
After the attacks, a tweet was posted by a relatively unknown account said that a Sindhi nationalist group had claimed responsibility for the explosions.
Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had already ordered an inquiry into the Ghotki blast.
The chief minister also took notice of the explosion in Larkana and ordered that a preliminary investigation report be submitted within two days.
“What are the motives behind the incidents in Ghotki and Larkana? An all-round inquiry should be conducted and an initial report should be submitted within two days,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the CM House.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail also condemned the attacks on Twitter and said: “Rangers have been a symbol of peace in our province, it is very sad & heartbreaking to see our heroes being cowardly attacked costing loss of lives.”
Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that attacks on security forces were “acts of cowardice”. He added that a strict security alert has been issued in the province.
He paid tribute to the security forces for their “endless sacrifices” and promised that those responsible for the attacks will be arrested soon.
PPP leader Wahab condemned the attacks in Ghotki and Karachi and said: “The elements involved in this heinous incident will be arrested soon.
“We will not let the sacrifices made by Rangers, police and law enforcement agencies to establish peace in the province, go in vain.”
Wahab declared that the attacks were a “conspiracy to ruin the peace in the province”.
PPP leader Nisar Khuhro also issued a condemnation and demanded that the culprits be held accountable.