12 killed in grenade attack on mini-truck in Karachi

KARACHI: Twelve members of an extended family, all women and young boys, lost their lives and several others suffered burn injuries in a grenade attack on a mini-truck on the outskirts of the city on Saturday night.

A senior police officer, who did not wish to be named, told Dawn that it was an act of terrorism.

He said personnel from the Bomb Disposal Squad had found the lever of the grenade [at the crime scene] and confirmed that a Russian-made device had been used in the attack.

The incident occurred in the Baldia area within the limits of the Madina Colony police station.

“We are investigating the incident from different angles to ascertain whether the perpetrators were terrorists from some ethnic group or an extremist group,” said the official.

Karachi police chief Imran Yaqoob Minhas told the media that the aspect of personal enmity was also being probed as all victims came from the same family. The family originally hailed from Swat.

Local police and the Counter-Terrorism Department are both investigating the incident.

Senior CTD official Raja Umer Khattab, who examined the spot, said initial probe revealed that the attackers were riding a motorcycle and that the grenade had exploded before falling into vehicle.

Karachi South Zone DIG Javed Akbar Riaz told Dawn that the truck was carrying 20 to 25 people who were returning from a marriage ceremony.

Keamari SSP Fida Husain Janwari said the driver had picked up the family from Pareshan Chowk in Baldia.

“We received 10 bodies — six women and four children — at Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital,” said Additional Police Surgeon Dr Qarar Abbasi. He said around an equal number of the injured, including women and children, had also been brought to the hospital.

Two of the injured died during treatment, said Dr Abbasi.

Edhi Foundation spokesperson and an official of Chhipa rescue service said at least 10 people were injured in the explosion.

Administrator of Karachi Barrister Murtaza Wahab while taking notice of the incident issued directives for proper medical treatment of the injured.