Two killed, 40 injured in Karachi blasts (Third Lead)

July 7th, 2008 - 11:54 pm ICT by IANS  

By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, July 7 (IANS) Two people were killed and more than 40 injured in a series of seven low-intensity blasts that ripped through Karachi Monday, a day after a powerful suicide attack killed 23, including 19 policemen, in Islamabad, police and hospital sources said. According to police officials, two people were killed in one of the seven blasts while in six other blasts a total of more than 40 people were injured.

Four of the seven blasts occurred in areas concentrated with Pashto-speaking people while others were in different market places. The police officials said the bombs were placed on bicycles or at garbage dumps.

All the seven blasts took place in a span of less than 40 minutes with the first blasts at 7.15 p.m. at Mangupir area and the seventh at 7.50 p.m. at crowded Hyderi Market.

“All the bombs were of low intensity that have caused injuries to more than 40 persons including nine children of under 10 years of age,” a Karachi police official told IANS. He said it would be early to say if there were any particular targets.

“It seems that someone has the agenda to destabilize Karachi and we will soon make public the elements who are behind such acts,” Rehman Malik, advisor to prime minister, told reporters in Islamabad.

He said most blasts happened in areas where particular ethnic groups live. “I believe that this is an effort to create disturbance in Karachi,”

In the recent blasts in northern areas of Pakistan, either the government officials or the security personnel were the targets and blasts have been blamed on terrorists groups.

“It is difficult to say who is behind these attacks but we have started investigations into the incidents,” Sindh’s police chief told reporters.

He said that the police had not found any clue to the blasts so far. Replying to a question, he said no one had claimed the responsibility. “But we understand that this act has been committed by an organized group.”

Two explosions occurred here in Banaras area. One of the blasts happened in a pile of garbage while the other one at a footpath near Banaras Chowk, injuring 16 people. They were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, sources said.

Several hundred people in the city of 16 million took to streets and shouted slogans against the government and city administration which is being run by the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM).

MQM chief Altaf Hussain, who rules the party from London, was quick to condemn the incidents and called upon the citizens to remain calm and peaceful.

However, reports said the enraged people set at least six vehicles on fire and stoned the government buildings.

City administrator Mustafa Kamal appealed to the television channels not to show the bodies and the injured who were in serious condition.

“I am sorry to say that cameramen of different channels were creating problems for rescue workers,” he told reporters.

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