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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Karachi blast targets Chinese nationals

The blast took place near Confucius Institute at Karachi University. Following the blast, rescue and security agencies reached the location and cordoned off the areas, initiating rescue operations.

In harrowing news, a car explosion took place inside the premises of the University of Karachi. As per the initial reports, five people were killed including two Chinese nationals. Several others, mostly Chinese nationals, were injured.

The blast took place near Confucius Institute – a Chinese language centre – at Karachi University. Following the blast, rescue and security agencies reached the location and cordoned off the areas, initiating rescue operations. A bomb disposal squad also arrived at the scene.

Police said there were seven to eight people in the van as the van was transporting Chinese nationals to the institute. Rangers’ security also accompanied the van. Rescue teams shifted the three people who sustained injuries — including a foreigner, a rangers’ officer, and a private guard — to a private hospital in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

Read more: Pakistani exports pine nuts worth $17.67 million to China in two months

Edhi rescue services said that a “cylinder blast” took place in a Hiace van near Maskan Chowrangi. However, authorities are determining the nature of the blast.

Terror attack?

On the other hand, the Gulshan Superintendent of Police (SP) said that authorities are carrying out an investigation on whether the blast was a terrorist act or an accident.

Meanwhile, Karachi Police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon said that according to the initial investigation, a burqa-clad woman approached the vehicle shortly before the blast.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has condemned the blast and has expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of innocent lives. He also prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured. Furthermore, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has also asked for a detailed report of the blast from the Karachi commissioner.

If the blast is indeed a suicide attack then it will become a matter of great concern for Pakistan. Increased terror attacks will impact the progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The new PML-N-led government aims to speed up work on CPEC.

Last year, Chinese nationals were targetted in another terror incident. On 14 July 2021 a bus carrying Chinese workers in the Dasu area of Upper Kohistan District fell into a ravine after an explosion. The incident killed 13 people, including nine Chinese residents and 4 Pakistanis, and injured 28 others.

Read more: China and Pakistan will bring Dasu terror attackers to justice – Chinese Foreign Ministry

Chinese authorities referred to the cause of the explosion as an “attack”. They called for a full investigation by Pakistani law enforcement. Moreover, Pakistan said that the Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) were behind the Dasu bus tragedy.