RAWALPINDI - At least 16 people were injured, five them critically, including a small girl, when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on a motorbike exploded in a roadside parking near Savor Food on College Road Thursday.
The incident took place within the limits of the city police station. Following the explosion, a heavy contingent of law-enforcement personnel, including police, bomb disposal squad (BDS), rescuers and fire brigade, rushed to the site and cordoned off the area.
It is believed that this terror activity was allegedly done by the extortionists who had demanded Rs 50 million from Muhammad Naeem and Muhammad Ibrahim, owners of a famous food outlet in the twin cities. They also hurled a cracker outside the house of the owner within the limits of Sihala Police Station on January 3, 2014.
The sound of the blast was heard miles away in the city. Rescue 1122 and police shifted the injured to the district headquarters (DHQ) hospital where condition of five injured, including a small girl, was stated to be critical. Owing to the blast, a huge part of the food outlet and 10 motorcycles were damaged. An official of the bomb disposal squad said that 500 grams explosive material was used in the blast.
According to eyewitnesses, a young man parked the motorcycle at 9:51pm in the parking lot outside Savor Food and disappeared. They said the blast occurred shortly after the suspect left the site after parking his explosive-laden motorbike in the parking of the food outlet where hundreds of people, including families, were having dinner. This caused panic as everybody was running here and there to save his life.
City Police Officer (CPO) Humayun Bashir Tarar, talking to The Nation, said unknown culprits placed IED on a motorcycle parked outside the food outlet, which was exploded through a remote control, he said, adding some 10 people were injured in the explosion. The blast also damaged the restaurant and 10 motorcycles parked nearby, the CPO added.
Answering a question, he said the involvement of extortionists cannot be ruled out and police were probing the case from this angle.
A BDS official, while talking to The Nation, said some 500 grams of explosive material was used in the IED.
According to the DHQ hospital sources, some 16 injured were brought there, of whom five were critical. “The condition of a small girl, Rimsha, is very serious and doctors are trying to save her life,” they added. Condemning the explosion, the traders demanded of the government and police to arrest those involved behind this heinous act.