Daily Capital

Live: 45 Dead In Karachi, 13 Wounded, Killers Still At Large

Live: 45 Dead In Karachi, 13 Wounded, Killers Still At Large

KARACHI: Six armed motorcyclists opened indiscriminate fire on a bus belonging to the Ismaili community in Karachi’s Safoora Chorangi area. At least 45 people were killed and 13 others injured in the gruesome incident that happened on Wednesday morning, Capital TV reported.

According to the police, assailants used hi-tech assault weapons including 9mm pistols in the attack.

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“Kill each and everybody”

One of the injured women recalls the horrific incident. She said that the bus was attacked soon after it left Al-Azhar Garden area. According to her the terrorists, who boarded the bus from the rear door were initially taken for robbers. One of them, who was probably their leader, ordered his fellows to kill them all, she said.

Sultan Ali, the hero

One of passengers, identified as Sultan Ali drove the bus to the Memon Foundation Hospital to seek medical assistance despite being shot in the shoulder. The main driver, Rahim Ali, was shot and died on the spot.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain announces a day of mourning on May 14.

Eye-witnesses and police account of the incident

According to the eyewitnesses, the bus was attacked from all sides. “First they stopped the bus by firing at it, then boarded the bus and started shooting at the people,” said an eyewitness. Some of the eyewitnesses put the number of assailants six to eight riding three to four motorbikes. According to the police, the assailants did not fire at the bus, rather they entered the bus and started shooting them. They said that the passengers were shot in the head.

The bus which belongs to the Ismaili community of the Al Azhar Garden residential area leaves daily at 9am, said an official of the community. He said that the bus service has been operating for 10 years. The bus was bound for Aisha Manzal from Alazhar Garden in Scheme 33. The incident took place by 9:30 am in the morning, said the police.

According to an eyewitness, the assailants were wearing police uniforms. However, the police have found blue caps from the crime scene, usually worn by the security guards. Casings of 9mm pistols were also found, said a police official. Over 60 empty bullet shells of pistols and Kalashnikovs were found at the scene, according to another police official.

“The gunmen stopped the bus and first fired at it from outside,” a policeman told AFP. “Then they entered inside the bus and open fire indiscriminately. After that they checked to see if anyone was left uninjured.”

“The bus had a capacity of 52 passengers but it was overloaded and dozens of people were boarding it. Most of them were from (the) Ismaili community,” he added. The deceased include 25 men, 16 children and two children, said the police.

Dead and Injured Shifted to nearby Hospitals

The bodies and injured have been shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Capital TV reported. Several among the injured are said to be in critical condition. Some of “the dead and injured have been shifted to the private Memon Medical Center nearby,” said an official of the Ismaili National Council, a group which represents the community.

Police cordons off the area

With the spread of the news about the incident, rescue teams, police and Rangers arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area. The assailants are still at large, however, police have started investigation to hunt down the assailants. Police have also tightened security at all entry and exit points of the city.

Notices, Condemnations and compensations

Following the incident, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan took notice of the incident and asked for a detailed report from the IG Sindh Police, Radio Pakistan reported.

Similarly, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah ordered the suspension of the area’s Station House Officer (SHO) and District Superintendent of Police (DSP) for displaying negligence towards the security in the area. Sindh Chief Minister also announced Rs.500,000 compensation for the families of the deceased and Rs.200,000 for the injured.

In the same vein, Sindh IG Ghulam Haider Jamali directed Additional IG Ghulam Qadir Thebo to immediately submit a preliminary report in this regard, stated an official press release. He also directed security forces to facilitate emergency rescue services in shifting of injured to hospitals for treatment.He ordered the early arrest of criminals involved.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also condemned the gruesome incident and demanded the law enforcement agencies to submit a detailed report.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also condemned the attack, said a party statement. Bilawal expressed his grief over the incident and urged for stern action against the terrorists.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan also condemned the attack and expressed grief over the murder of innocent citizens. He criticised Sindh government for failing to ensure security to the citizens in the province. He added the government must provide complete medical facilities to the injured and take strict action against those responsible for this attack, he said.

Indian Prime Minister also condemned the attack on the minority sect in Karachi and said that his country “stand firmly with the people of Pakistan in this hour of grief. I wish all those injured a quick recovery.”

No Terror group has taken responsibility

No militant group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but reports revealed that leaflets containing militant content were found at the scene. It may be mentioned that Taliban have bombed several mosques belonging to religious minorities this year as well as targeted army-run school in Peshawar that left over 140 students and staff dead last year.

COAS cancels 3-day visit to Sri Lanka

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has cancelled his three-day visit to Sri Lanka at the eleventh hour and left for Karachi to assess the situation following the attack on the bus that left 45 people dead and injured sores of others, according to Inter Services Public Relations.  

(Web Desk/ agencies)

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