11 cops dead, 57 injured in police bus blast

KARACHI: A powerful blast targeting a police bus on Thursday claimed the lives of eleven policemen and left 57 others injured, officials said. The attack took place in Razzakabad area near a police training centre. “Apparently it was a planted remote control device attack, as an explosive-laden car hit the police bus transporting officials,” said DIG South Abdul Khalique Sheikh.

SSP Malir Rao Anwaar said evidences suggest a suicide bomber had rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the police bus carrying personnel on their way to discharge their duties at Bilawal House. However, police are investigating the matter to ascertain the facts.

Security forces cordoned off the area and sealed the blast site. Traffic on National Highway was suspended after the security forces closed the main artery.

The deceased and injured were shifted to Jinnah Hospital. where ten policemen were said to be in critical condition, according to the Director JPMC Dr Seemi Jamali, who confirmed that they had received 11 bodies. The victims were Dost Ali, Sarfaraz, Gulshan, Sajid Ali, Haleem Jalbani, Sheraz, Yaseen, Muhammad Saleem, Muhammad Ali, Adil and Ashiq Ali.

At least 57 wounded cops were hospitalized, 10 of them in critical condition, she said.

Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah visited the hospital and inquired about the health of the injured. He said that cowardly terrorist activities will not discourage the government as its morale is high. He said the terrorism and criminal activities will be restrained. He announced compensation of Rs0.2mn for each injured besides their free of cost treatment.

IG Sindh Shahid Nadeem Baloch said that about 65 officers were on board the vehicle at the time of attack, which occurred in Karachi East district. He said the bus was taking a U-turn after leaving Razzaqabad training centre when a small van struck it.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.