45 dead as twin blasts rock Karachi
KABUL (PAN): At least 45 people were killed and over 135 others wounded as twin explosions rocked Pakistan’s port city of Karachi o Sunday evening. The powerful blasts occurred outside a mosque in Abbas Town.
Flats in the vicinity caught fire as a result of the blasts that damaged many shops and snapped power supply to the Shiite-dominated neighbourhood, Dawn newspaper reported. Gas line also started leaking, hampering rescue efforts.
Security personnel cordoned off the site and evacuated casualties to city hospitals, with many of the injured struggling for life. Rescue services rushed to the scene of the explosions that happened about 10 minutes apart.
The first blast happened when people were coming out of the mosque after offering evening prayers, police official Azhar Iqbal said. The second bomb went off in the residential area, dominated by Shiites, in the country's commercial hub.
Women and children were among the fatalities. Balconies of several buildings collapsed. One bomb disposal squad official estimated 150 kilograms of explosives material had been used in the bombings.
The blasts drew outpourings of condemnation from President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Governor Ishratul Ibad, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali, PML-N head Nawaz Sharif and other leaders.
The Jafaria Alliance of the Shiite sect announced a strike for Monday and the Majlis-i-Wahdat Muslimeen (MWM) called for a day of mourning.
The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which often claims responsibility for such attacks, disassociated itself from the bombing. Ehsanullah Ehsan, speaking on behalf of the group, told Dawn the TTP was not involved.
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