KARACHI:Â The explosion of a mini truck in the city’s Mawach Goth area on Saturday night killed at least 13 and left several injured, Geo News reported.
According to initial investigations by law enforcement agencies, the incident was a grenade attack, as evidenced by remnants of the explosive found on site.Â
The death toll rose to 13 when a six-year-old injured boy, Fahad succumbed to his wounds at the NICH. Seven injured are undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital Trauma Center, according to the Civil Hospital administration.
Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui confirmed that 11 people lost lives and nine others sustained injuries. Two of the injured are in critical condition. “Doctors are doing their best to save the lives of the injured & whatever treatment or surgery that needs to take place will be done,” he said in a tweet.
Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Keamari said the mini truck driver had taken onboard a family from Baldia Town’s Pareshan Chowk. The family is believed to have belonged to Swat.
Additional Inspector General of Police Imran Yaqoob said that the incident took place at around 9:30pm.
“We cannot concretely say who was behind the attack. It may be a family dispute, which we are trying to ascertain, or it may be an act of terrorism. But unless we have solid evidence, we cannot provide a final verdict on this. It will be premature to say anything at this stage,” he said.
Yaqoob acknowledged that there was a large volume of people out on the streets due to Independence Day celebrations, but reiterated that it would be “premature” to say anything at this point.
The AIG said that the police are trying to determine whether the grenade was already present inside the truck or whether it was tossed at the vehicle.
Earlier, Counter Terrorism Department Incharge Raja Umar Khattab told the media that initial investigations point to the possibility of a hand grenade attack.
“The grenade exploded before it could be lobbed inside the vehicle,” he said, adding that the assailants were “riding on motorcycles”.
He said that the deceased family had been on its way back from a wedding.
The bomb disposal squad said that they had found pieces of a “Russian-manufactured grenade”.
The Civil Hospital administration said they received nine bodies and 10 injured people â€” two of whom are in critical condition. The deceased include seven women and six children.
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, taking notice of the incident, directed police and district administration to transport injured people to nearby hospitals, in District Keamari and West.
Expressing deep sorrow over the incident, the chief minister directed the concerned authorities to provide all possible assistance to the affected families.
Moreover, newly-appointed Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab contacted deputy commissioner Keamari and sought details of the tragic incident from him.
Minister for Interior takes notice
Meanwhile, Minister for Interior Shaikh Rasheed took notice of the blast in Karachi and sought a report from the inspector general of police andÂ the deputy inspector general of the Rangers paramilitary force.
“The incident must be investigated from all possible angles,” he stressed.
He assured the Sindh government of the Centre’s full cooperation and assistance in the investigation.