Five people were killed and 20 others got injured on Wednesday due to a powerful explosion in a four-storey building in Pakistan’s Sindh province. Two floors of the building near Maskan Chowrangi in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal area in Karachi were severely damaged, creating fears that casualties may rise.
The death toll in the incident has increased to five, Faisal Edhi of the Edhi Ambulance Service said.
Seven of the injured are said to be in critical condition. The security forces have cordoned off the area after the explosion.
Police chief Mushtaq Mahar said the bomb disposal squad and anti-terrorism officials are yet to determine the cause of the explosion.
A police official said that initial investigations suggested that the explosion could have been caused due to a gas leak. The official said that no trace of an improvised explosive device (IED) was found at the scene.
The incident happened a day after five people got injured when an IED bomb exploded at the entrance of a bus terminal in the Shireen Jinnah colony area of the city. Media reports said that the explosion was so powerful that it shattered the windows of nearby buildings and also damaged vehicles.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has sought a detailed report of the incident from the authorities.
Rumours of civil war
Clashes break out between Pakistani Army and Pakistani Police at Bombay Bakery Hyderabad, Pakistan. Pakistani Army has reportedly taken over all police stations in Karachi.
Heavy fire was exchanged between the Pakistani Army and Sindh Police after Pakistani Army tried to take custody of a Superintendent of Sindh Police, Md. Aftab Anwar. According to reports, the clash has claimed the lives of five Pakistani Army officers and 10 Karachi police officers.
Rumours of civil war-like situation swirled around Karachi after 13 top-ranking officers of Sindh police decided to go on leave to protest the manner in which the force had been “ridiculed” in the incident involving the arrest of Muhammad Safdar, son-in-law of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Monday.
Safdar and wife Maryam Nawaz were attending a rally of the Opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) when he was arrested from their hotel for allegedly disrespecting the mausoleum of Jinnah.
Safdar was freed after a court granted him bail, but controversy ensued amid allegations that he was arrested by paramilitary rangers after they pressured provincial chief Mushtaq Mehar to sign orders for Safdar’s arrest. The senior officers have said they want to go on earned leave “to come out of the shock of the unfortunate incident”.
“The recent episode of registration of FIR against Capt (R) Safdar in which police high command has not only been ridiculed and mishandled, but all ranks of Sindh police have been demoralised and shocked. In such stressful situations it is quite difficult for me to discharge my duty in a professional manner,” the letters by the officers read.
Reports said Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has ordered an investigation into allegations that Sindh police chief Mushtaq Mahar was abducted by army troops to force him to order Safdar’s arrest.
In a statement, the military said that the army chief ordered the military commander in Karachi to begin a probe into the accusation.
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