At least eight people, including MQM-Pakistan Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui's coordinator, were injured in a suspected cracker attack at a Mehfil-e-Milad in Karachi's Gulistan-e-Jauhar Sunday night.
Dr Siddiqui and Khawaja Izharul Hassan were at the event when the attack took place but were not hurt. The Mehfil-e-Milad was organised by the party near Perfume Chowk. The injured were shifted to Jinnah hospital and other private hospitals nearby.
MQM-Pakistan spokesperson Aminul Haq said that eight workers had been injured in the attack. "The MQM-P organizes a Mehfil-e-Milad every year," he said. Those injured have been identified as Sheheryar, 25, Faizan Ibrahim, 32, Babar, 40, Azhar, 32, Samina Khatoon, 49, seven-year-old Shan Azeem and Hassan.
The police believe the explosion was caused by a planted device. According to an initial investigation report, the police have found the detonator. The windows of cars parked near the crime scene were shattered by the blast.
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According to the report, 250 to 300 grammes of gunpowder was used in the explosive device that was placed on the footpath and detonated via a safety timer. The police has found pieces of plastic from the device.
However, East SSP Azfar Mahser believes it was a cracker attack. He said that so far, evidence points to a cracker attack. They say the attack was carried out by unidentified motorcyclists.
East DIG Amir Farooqui told SAMAA TV that the police had deployed personnel for security at the event, adding that he didn't know if the organizers had sought permission to hold the Mehfil-e-Milad in the area.
Soon after the incident, MQM leaders Faisal Sabzwari and Farooq Sattar arrived at the hospital. Speaking to SAMAA TV, Sabzwari called the attack "religious and political" terrorism. He denied the DIG's claims that they hadn't obtained permission for the event and said it's "absolute nonsense".