KARACHI/AFP - At least four people, including Karachi police encounter specialist, Inspector Shafiq Tanoli, were killed in a suicide blast which took place at Pukhtoon Chowk, within the precincts of PIB Colony police station.
According to details, Tanoli was sitting at a tailor’s shop in the locality of Old Subzi Mandi near his residence when the incident occurred. Tanoli was sitting with tailor Ejaz, Dawood Chacha and Ejaz Qureshi when a young man between 22 to 25 years of age blew himself up. As a result, four people, including Inspector Tanoli, were killed while two police guards among five sustained critical wounds. The shops and houses located in the area were completely destroyed. Receiving information of the blast, law-enforcement agencies, rescuers from various welfare organisations and experts of Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) rushed to the spot. The victims were shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center where doctors pronounced the death of Inspector Tanoli and three others. The Bomb Disposal Squad officials said the bomb contained at least 3kg explosive while the police recovered at least 200 ball bearings from the spot. The Bomb Disposal Squad experts said intensity of the bomb was low, but the congested place was a reason for the high losses.
IGP Iqbal Mehmood said Tanoli was facing threats from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and had also survived a previous bomb attack at the same place four months ago. The IGP said he used to sit routinely at the shop where he was targeted. The IGP said the police had found the fingers of a suspected bomber while evidences had been sent to the forensic division and Nadra for fingerprint examination.
It is worth mentioning here that Tanoli was recently suspended and demoted when he was found guilty of a fake encounter. On the other hand, Tanoli, in his face book, had updated that he had been suspended and demoted for conducting raid on a brothel in a posh area. Tanoli had accused the police high-ups of supporting illegal activities in the city and taking action against the cops who had arrested those involved in the killing of local Journalist Wali Babar, Lyari gangsters and other hardened criminals. Tanoli who survived at least seven attacks had stated that he had sacrificed his brother and a cousin while fighting against terrorists and criminals, but the police high-ups had made him demented.
Tanoli’s brother, Rasheed Tanoli, held the police department responsible for his death and said that had he not been suspended, he would have not been killed. “When Tanoli was suspended, the high-ups withdrew his security,” he alleged. He said terrorists and police high-ups were equally responsible for the killing of his brother. He did not name TTP while the defunct outfit’s council member, Umar Khalid Khurasani, in his statement said Tanoli-like officers deserved the same fate. Khurasani alleged he had killed several TTP operatives in fake encounters.
It is worth mentioning that Karachi police remain demoralised after the killing of CID SP Chaudhry Aslam Khan in a similar bomb blast. TTP warned Karachi police in a number of statements issued after the killing of SP Aslam Khan that no police officer had security like that of SP Khan.
Interestingly, police officers, including top cops, stay away from the issue of TTP. A number of decomposed bodies of alleged TTP operatives were found from the city, but no cop accepted responsibility for any encounter though several officers were promoted from ASI to SP slot because of fake encounters and arrest of terrorists.
AFP adds: A senior policeman who had survived several assassination attempts was killed with three others by a suicide bomber in Karachi Thursday in an attack claimed by a Taliban faction, officials said.
“The blast killed police official Shafiq Tanoli and three others besides wounding 15, including Tanoli’s three guards,” senior police officer Tanvir Ahmad Tunio told AFP.
He said the target was Tanoli who had conducted a number of operations against militants and criminals and survived several attempts on his life in the past. A local senior police official, Raja Umar Khitab, confirmed it was a suicide attack.
Omar Khorasani of Mohmand chapter of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in a statement accepted responsibility. Mohmand is one of the seven lawless tribal districts along the Afghan border.
Karachi, a city of 18 million people which contributes 42 percent of Pakistan’s GDP, has been plagued for years by sectarian and ethnic as well as political violence.