KARACHI: Hours after at least 45 people belonging to Ismaili community were killed in an attack on a bus, Pakistan’s Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on Wednesday vowed to bring the culprits behind the carnage to justice at all costs.
In a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Gen Raheel also vowed to take facilitators and sympathizers of the terrorists to their logical conclusion.
The Army Chief also expressed his deepest sadness over the Safoora carnage during the telephonic conversation, the statement added.
45 killed in attack on Ismaili community bus in Karachi
KARACHI: At least 45 people were killed and several injured after gunmen opened fire on a bus of the Ismaili community near Safoora Chowrangi area of Karachi on Wednesday.
Between 60 and 65 people were riding in the overloaded bus, which belonged to the Ismaili community. The bus was traveling towards Aisha Manzil when it was attacked, police said.
“At least six gunmen attacked the bus in the Safoora Goth area of Karachi,” said a senior police official.
“The gunmen stopped the bus and first fired at it from outside,” said the policeman. “Then they entered inside the bus and open fire indiscriminately. After that they checked to see if anyone was left uninjured.”
Most of the injured were taken to the nearby Memon Hospital Insitute while others were taken to Aga Khan Hospital and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
Initial police investigation revealed that the six gunmen riding on three motorcycles stopped the bus and entered it from the back door.
The attackers first killed the driver and then opened indiscriminate fire on the passengers, shooting them in the head and neck.
An injured bus conductor later managed to drive the bus to the Memon Hospital Institute, about 7 kilometres away, where an emergency was imposed due the large number of wounded people.
Injured eyewitness recalls horror
Recalling details of the attack, a 48-year-old injured female eyewitness told police that the bus was surrounded and stopped at a deserted area by the terrorists, who entered it from the back door.
She said that the attackers first killed the driver, while the passengers were told to kneel with their heads facing the ground.
The attackers, one of whom she recalls as being clean-shaven, took two children aside before one of them ordered the others to “shoot them all”.
Doctors at the Aga Khan hospital said the woman was shot but was out of danger. The fate of the children was unclear.
Police said the woman’s account was being treated as initial information, and that she may be questioned again by investigators.
At the Memon Hospital Institute, where most of the wounded were rushed, crying relatives formed a human chain outside the main building to keep onlookers away.
A sobbing middle-aged man said: “I have come to collect the body of my young son. He was a student preparing for his first year exams at college.”
The bus itself, which had been driven after the attack to the hospital, was blood-drenched and riddled with bullet holes.
PM chairs high-level meeting at Governor House
A high-level meeting, headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is underway at the Governor House to review overall security of Karachi and the country in the aftermath of Safoora carnage.
Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif, DG Rangers and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif are also accompanying the prime minister.
Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, the Corps Commander Karachi and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders Dr Farooq Sattar and Rashid Godil are also attending the meeting.
DG Rangers Lt-Gen Bilal Akbar and IGP Sindh Ghulam Haider Jamali briefed the meeting over the Safoora bus attack.
Speaking to the participants, the premier expressed his deepest grief on the tragic incident. “Peaceful people including women are targeted by the terrorists today,” he said.
Prime Minster Sharif also directed for every possible step to arrest the culprits of today’s attack at the earliest.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sharif landed in Karachi to oversee measures being taken to eradicate terrorism form the port city.
Sindh police chief vows to apprehend attackers
Speaking to reporters, Inspector-General Police Sindh Ghulam Haider Jamali confirmed the death toll.
“About six attackers got off three motorcycles, got on the bus and and them fired indiscriminately. They used 9mm pistols to shoot the victims,” he said. Further investigation revealed that the attackers used Sub-Machine Guns (SMG) as well as 9mm pistols.
The Sindh police chief vowed to apprehend the attackers and bring them to justice.
IGP Sindh forms high-level probe committee
IGP Sindh Ghulam Haider Jamali has formed a high-level investigation committee, which would be headed by Karachi police chief Ghulam Qadir Thebo.
Army chief in Karachi, vows to bring culprits to justice
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif arrived in Karachi after the terrorist attack on an Ismaili community bus.
According to the ISPR, the Army chief arrived in the city to evaluate the situation following the attack.
Army chief General Raheel Sharif held a high-level meeting of military officials at the Corp Headquarters in Karachi. The meeting was also attended by DG ISI, DG Rangers and Corps Commander Karachi.
The Army chief was briefed on the Safoora Chowrangi attack during the meeting.
Later, during a telephonic conversation with Prince Karim Aga Khan, Gen Raheel vowed to bring the culprits behind the carnage to justice at all costs.
He also vowed to take facilitators and sympathizers of the terrorists to their logical conclusion.
Nation to observe mourning day over Safoora Chowrangi massacre
KARACHI – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced to observe day of mourning tomorrow (Thursday) over Safoora Chowrangi massacre in Karachi that left 44 of minority Ismaili community dead. The national flag will also fly at half mast on all official buildings.
PM Nawaz has vowed to bring culprits to justice while announcing the day of mourning. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Jamaat Islami leaderships have condemned the incident in strong words.
The Azad Kashmir government has also announced to observe mourning day on Thursday.
The political leadership has come forward to condemn as the nation mourns the brutal massacre that left at least 44 dead and several injured.
Former president Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the massacre. He called Prince Karim Aga Khan and expressed condolences.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan also condemned the incident saying that the terrorists have brought mourning to dozens of households. He said PTI stands united with the mourning community.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain also termed the attack as extreme of barbarity.
The Senate also approved a unanimous resolution condemning the massacre while MQM staged walkout.
Jamaat’s chief condemned the incident and said that the nation knows who is behind the attack.
Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen also condemned the incident and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.
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— The Daily Mail - People's Daily