KARACHI: Police say a bomb blast outside a cable TV office in southern Pakistan has killed three people and wounded four others.
Police officer Sadaqat Ali said on Friday the bomb was planted in a rickshaw and went off after midnight in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi.
He says the motive behind the bombing was unclear, and police are investigating.
The latest bombing comes two days after gunmen shot and killed Perween Rahman, a pioneering female activist who helped bring services like sewers and water to the city’s poorest neighbourhoods.
“Somebody put a bag filled with explosives near the gate of the cable operator’s office and exploded it through remote control,” senior police official Naeem Baroka said. “Three people were killed and five others wounded.” Another police official, Raja Umer Khitab, said two kilogrammes of explosives were used. “Two shops near the cable operator office were also damaged by the impact,” he said.
Hospital officials confirmed the death toll. “We received three dead bodies and five wounded from the cable operator blast site,” doctor Seemi Jamali of Jinnah Hospital told AFP.
Separately, police shot dead a militant commander suspected over the killing of Rehman a day earlier, a spokesman said.
“Police raided a house in western Manghopir neighbourhood (of Karachi) on Thursday night where Qari Bilal started gunfire. The police returned fire and killed him on the spot,” senior police official Javed Odho told reporters.
“He was a local commander of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban organisation and was a suspect in the killing of Parveen Rehman a day earlier.” Another security official confirmed the death of the militant.
Meanwhile, police arrested another six Taliban militants from the city’s southern and western neighbourhoods and seized heavy explosives and weapons.
“Those arrested included Bashir Ullah, who was a mastermind of the deadly bombing in Abbas Town neighbourhood,” senior police official Shahid Hayat said.
A bomb in the city’s Shiite neighbourhood, Abbas Town, killed 50 people and injured more than 100 on March 3.
In an unrelated development, a Pakistani court has ordered the authorities to reinstate the jobs of 17 health workers sacked over CIA efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden, officials said on Friday.
The order was made on Thursday in the northwestern town of Abbottabad, where Bin Laden was found and shot dead by US special forces in May 2011.“We will formally reinstate them after receiving written court orders,” Mohammed Qasim, an Abbottabad district health officer, said.
The 17 medics worked on the same fake vaccination programme set up by the CIA in a bid to confirm that Bin Laden was living in the city.
Fifteen women health workers were dismissed in August 2011, and a woman doctor and an assistant co-ordinator were sacked in March 2012.
Defence lawyer Sultan Ahmad Jamshed, confirmed the court order, which does not relate to surgeon Shakeel Afridi, who was jailed for 33 years for treason.
He was arrested after being recruited by the CIA to run the fake programme to obtain DNA samples in a bid to identify relatives of Bin Laden.