From Zeeshan Mirza
Karachi: At least 39 people were injured in a grenade attack on a Jamaat-i-Islami rally in Karachi on Wednesday evening, officials said.
The blast took place near the main truck that was part of the rally in Gulshan-i-Iqbal area, a JI spokesperson said. Of the total, one person was stated to be in critical condition while no deaths were reported, according to Meeran Yousuf, the media coordinator to the Sindh health minister. She earlier said five of the injured were taken to Al Mustafa Hospital, seven to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), 11 to Aga Khan University Hospital and 10 to Liaquat National Hospital.
According to Yousuf, a majority of the injured received “very minor injuries”, while some were discharged.
East Senior Superintendent of Police Sajid Sadozai said two unidentified persons riding a motorcycle threw an RGD-1 grenade at the rally and fled. He had earlier ruled out that the blast was caused by a planted bomb. The explosion, which took place near Bait-ul-Mukarram Masjid, also shattered the windows of nearby cars.
The banned Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA) claimed responsibility for the attack through social media.
The JI rally was being held in connection with Youm-i-Istehsal (the day of exploitation), which is being observed today to mark one year since India revoked occupied Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status on August 5. In a tweet, JI chief Sirajul Haq termed the bomb attack a “cowardly act”.
“Indian agents are still present in the city who could not tolerate the expression of solidarity with the people of Kashmir,” he said. “We will not be frightened by such vile acts and will speak up for the people of Kashmir with increased determination.”
JI spokesperson Zahid Askari said the rally continued after the blast and it was addressed by JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman at Hasan Square. In his speech, Rehman condemned Indian atrocities against Kashmiris and the attack on the rally and demanded the arrest of the culprits.
In a separate incident, three people were injured in what police described as a cracker attack in the city’s Korangi area. Unidentified miscreants riding a motorcycle hurled a homemade grenade at an estate agency at Nasir Jump, Korangi-I and fled. The incident left three men injured who were shifted to the JPMC. Dr Seemin Jamali said one of the three men suffered wounds in his eye while another received injuries on his chest. All of them were in stable condition. Police in their initial probe ruled out the possibility of a terrorism motive behind the incident. They said it appeared to be the outcome of some personal enmity.
Earlier media reports, At least five people were injured in a grenade blast near Bait-ul-Mukarrum Masjid located in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal area on Wednesday when the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) activists gathered in a Kashmir rally.
A Kashmir rally being organised by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) hit by an explosion near the Bait-ul-Mukarrum Masjid located in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of Karachi. At least five people sustained injuries in the explosion. Police and rescue teams rushed at the scene and shifted the injured persons to the hospital.
According to the senior superintendent police (SSP), some unidentified motorcyclists hurled grenade on the participants of JI’s Kashmir rally. The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) officials were summoned at the scene to ascertain the genre of the explosion.
The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) officials confirmed that it was a grenade attack as two unidentified assailants on a motorcycle hurled RGD-1 grenade towards the participants of the rally.
JI Karachi Ameer, Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, strongly condemned the explosion and announced to give next strategy after the conclusion of the Kashmir rally. He vowed that the political party will fight for the self-determination right of Kashmiris on every platform and such tactics of India will not push back the nation from its stance regarding the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK).