Banned outfit behind Baldia attack that killed eleven

The police suspect that a banned separatist outfit is behind the grenade attack that killed 11 people, mostly women and children, in the Baldia Town area of Karachi on Saturday night.

The victims were travelling in the back cargo bed of a small truck that was attacked by unidentified motorcyclists with a hand grenade, the police officials have said.

The attackers hurled the grenade into the cargo bed that had been crowded by around 25 women and children. Shrapnel hit most of them.

The grenade exploded in the air just inches before hitting the floor of the cargo bed, resulting in a higher number of causalities, Sindh Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) officer Raja Umar Khattab told journalists near the attack site.

TV footage showed shrapnel also pierced through the sidewalls of the cargo bed. Pools of blood were visible amid a pile of shoes left in the vehicle.

The dead and the injured were rushed to Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi’s Trauma Centre, where doctors performed emergency surgeries.

Trauma Centre CEO Dr Sabir Memon confirmed that eleven people had died. The deceased included five women, five children, and a man, he said.

Banned outfit

Khattab, who heads CTD’s Transnational Terrorists Intelligence Group (TTIG), suspects a banned separatist organization was involved in the attack.

“The modus operandi of the attack suggests that [militants from] a banned organisation, which earlier carried out the attacks on the Independence Day, may have hurled the hand grenade,” Khattab told Samaa Digital.

Khattab said a team of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) immediately arrived on the attack site and after initial examination confirmed that a hand grenade of type RGD-1 had been used in the attack.

He added that RGD-1 had previously been used by a banned separatist group to attack the Independence Day celebration in past few years.

Family feud ruled out

The victim family hails from the Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They were returning to Sherpao Colony in Quaidabad, where they live, after attending a wedding in Faqeera Goth. The Hyundai Shehzore truck they hired for the journey was attacked on the Hub River Road in Mawach Morr.

The blast occurred at 9:45 pm within the jurisdiction of Madina Colony police station, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Javed Akbar Riaz said.

The initial reports suggested that the attackers, riding motorcycles, first sprayed the truck with bullets and then threw an object in the cargo bed, a senior police official told Samaa Digital, requesting anonymity.

These reports and the information that the victims belonged to Swat district led to speculation about a possible family feud. However, Khattab ruled out the possibility that the attack was a result of personal enmity.

“The fact that the family belongs to Swat, and they were returning from a wedding does not mean that they might have been attacked by their rivals on honour issue,” he said.

Justifying his statement, Khattab said he had visited the crime scene and spoken to the people present there.

“They told me that jubilant people carrying national flags were marching on motorcycles. The attackers wanted to maximize the damage on Independence Day, so they chose this small truck with so many people riding in the cargo bed.”

No sectarian angle

Khattab also ruled out the involvement of jihadi organizations.

DIG South Riaz said that based on the information available so far, they did not see any sectarian angle of the attack.

The earliest reports said that the CNG cylinder in the truck had exploded. However, the BDS officials, as soon as they arrived on the scene, concluded that it was a terrorist attack, Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Keamari Fida Hussain Janwari told Samaa Digital.

The truck owner

The 2007 model Hyundai Shehzore truck is registered to a man identified as Amir Iqbal.

The police have detained the truck driver as they continue to investigate the attack.



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