KARACHI: Fifteen people were killed in a massive explosion in the Ghas Mandi area in the old city of Karachi on Thursday while 25 others sustained injuries. The explosion damaged the Rummy Club, one of the largest gambling dens in Pakistan.
Hospital sources said that 14 people were dead before reaching hospital, while one person died during treatment. They added that 25 people were injured of whom 10 were said to be in critical condition.
An injured witness identified as Roshan Khan told the police that he was present inside the Rummy Club, when at about 8pm a stranger entered the club carrying a big black bag. He was roaming inside and played two games and left. After he left the club, an explosion took place.
However, another victim of the blast, Raees Khan, told the police that the suspect entered the club at about 7:30 pm and spent hours inside. Suddenly, an explosion took place in which the suspect, along with several others, was injured.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), Karachi, Saud Ahmed Mirza, said that the bomb exploded near a counter of the club as a crater was visible near it. He added that the terrorists used high explosives mixed with ball bearings for maximum impact.
The CCPO Karachi said that it was premature to say anything about the involvement of any group in the incident. However, a joint investigation team has been constituted with SSP Raja Umer Khattab of SIU Karachi and SSP Mohammed Aslam Khan of the Anti-Extremism Cell (AEC), CID Sindh, on board.
Police teams of City Town reached the site of the incident soon after receiving information of the blast. They also informed rescue teams and fire tenders to reach the spot. Reaching the site, more popularly known as Ramzani Ka Adda, the policemen found several people were lying dead and injured. Law enforcement officials immediately cordoned off the area and the injured were shifted to Civil Hospital, Karachi, and Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center.
Investigation department officials reached the spot to collect evidence from the scene of the crime. Windowpanes, ceiling fans and split air conditioners were completely destroyed. Among the dead were Abdul Rauf, Farukh Deen, Sameer, Abdul Ramzan, Razaq, Yaseen, Nasir, Farhan, Habib, Jeelani Baba, Khair Deen, Majeed, Shoaib, Sami, Feroz Deen and Fareedudin.
The injured were identified as Jisqam, the club’s manager, and a passerby Shahid. Investigators say that the club is the biggest such club of Pakistan, operated by one Ijaz from Dubai. It is located in the old city area of Karachi not far from Lyari, the scene of numerous gang wars in the last few years. They added that the criminals used high explosives with ball bearings to target the club.
They added that the club had its own security system, including CCTV cameras. Investigators have seized the video recording from the club and added that the case will be investigated from several angles ,like enmity factor, criminal group and terrorist involvement. A case has been registered.