8 injured as MQM poll office bombed

KARACHI/QUETTA - A blast near an election office of Muttahida Qaumi Movement in Karachi left at least eight people wounded on Thursday evening. Many workers and supporters of MQM were present at the election office at the time of the blast.
DIG (South) Ameer Shaikh said an explosive device was planted between Babul Islam Mosque and MQM’s sector office on Burns Road, adding the powerful explosion partially damaged the walls of the mosque and election office.
Apparently, the attackers could not manage to get close to the election office as security measures were stringent, an MQM activist said. Personnel of police and rangers rushed after the blast and ferried the injured to Civil Hospital Karachi for treatment. Tension simmered in the area and commercial activities came to a halt. 
Experts of Bomb Disposal Squad said two to three kilos of explosive material containing ball bearings were used in the bombing.  MQM chief Altaf Hussain, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad and Chief Minister Zahid Kurban Alvi condemned the incident.
Meanwhile, two schools designated as polling stations for May 11 general elections were bombed in Chattar tehsil of Naseerabad district, some 310 kilometers southeast of Quetta, early on Thursday. Luckily, no loss of life was reported in both the incidents.  District Police Officer Tahir Kasi said the miscreants blew up a primary school designated as a polling office, damaging two classrooms. The second incident occurred in Korar area where three rooms of a middle school were completely devastated.
“The two schools were designated as polling stations for upcoming polls and we think that they were targeted for this reason,” said the official, adding that investigation into the attacks was underway.
Law-enforcement agencies rushed and cordoned off the area. The forces also started a search operation to track down the bombers. No group claimed the responsibility for the attack.
Agencies add: Shot were fired on the vehicle of PPP candidate Jam Ikramullah Dharejo near Sukkur city on Thursday. However, the candidate remained safe in the attack. Police said Dharejo was driving his car while travelling to a village for election campaign when armed men on a motorbike fired multiple rounds at his vehicle near Sukkur city.
A companion of Jam Ikramullah Dharejo who was also onboard the car was injured in firing while the candidate remained unhurt. Dharejo, who is the younger brother of Jam Saifullah Dharejo, is contesting election from Sindh Assembly constituency PS-III, Sukkur.
Meanwhile, Sindh police arrested a suspected suicide bomber, who apparently looks like a foreigner, during snap checking in Shahdadkot on Thursday. According to details, police during routine checking in Sajawal Junejo area stopped a suspicious motorcyclist and recovered an explosive-filled suicide jacket from his possession. Police said the arrested, Hussnain Shah, does not look like a Pakistani national.
It should be mentioned, earlier on Wednesday, a suicide bomber targeted a convoy of the National People’s Party candidate in Shikarpur town of Sindh. The candidate, however, remained unhurt in the suicide attack.
Monitoring Desk adds: The MQM late on Thursday blamed ‘a Punjab-based party’ for having a militant wing which carried out the Burns Road bombing, injuring at least eight people, reported a private TV channel.
In an apparent reference to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), an investigative report by the MQM’s Rabita (coordination) Committee suggested that the militant wing of the party is comprised of religious extremist elements.
It said that people of Punjab province have witnessed a prominent leader of that party travelling with militants, adding that few newspapers had also published some photos of such events. The report said the committee is probing possibility of the militants’ arrival in Sindh along with participants of an election rally in Thatta held on Thursday morning.
The Rabita Committee has demanded the caretaker prime minister and chief ministers of Sindh and Punjab to investigate the matter in the light of this report.
Reacting to the allegation, PML-N information secretary Mushahidullah Khan told DawnNews that caretaker chief minister in Sindh province belongs to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) while Governor belongs to MQM hence they should initiate a probe regarding the accusation.

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