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'Low-intensity' blast targets Chinese engineer's convoy near Rohri: police

'Low-intensity' blast targets Chinese engineer's convoy near Rohri: police

A 'low-intensity' blast on Wednesday targeted a Chinese engineer's vehicle near Rohri, police said. The engineer remained unhurt in the explosion.

"Unknown accused attacked a Chinese engineer's vehicle near Rohri. Rescue teams moved [to the location]," said a police statement.

Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP) Rohri Masood Mahar said, "Today at 15:45 hours, in the jurisdiction of Patni police station, when a Chinese engineer’s vehicles convoy along with a Ranger's escort were passing by near Qasim Ali petrol pump, a remote control bomb planted in a bicycle exploded."

Initially, the DSP said that a truck driver was injured by the broken glass as the windscreen of the truck was shattered. However, in later reports, SP Special Branch Mansoor Mughal said no one was injured in the explosion. He also said that 500 grams of explosive material was used in the blast.

SSP Sukkur Amjad Shaikh told Dawn the low-intensity blast occurred along a roadside leading to three campsites set up for Chinese staffers working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He also confirmed that the Chinese convoy was targeted.

Sindh Inspector General (IG) A.D. Khawaja directed the SSP Sukkur to tighten security for Chinese as well as other foreign engineers and experts working on various development projects in the city. He also said no leniency should be granted to officers found negligent while on duty.

Around four dozen activists of the banned Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), a Sindhi nationalist organisation and some Bugti clansmen were picked up by police and Rangers during the combing operation following a blast.

“The detainees are activists and connected with the banned JSSM and Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (Bashir) and Bugti clansmen who had settled in Sukkur following disturbances in Balochistan and are now engaged in the crushing plant run by the Chinese”, said a police official.

IG Police Sindh A.D Khowaja told Dawn that the modus operand of blast is quite identical to the one that occurred outside the Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) on Dec 9 in which a Rangers personnel was injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) fitted in a pressure cooker placed on a bicycle exploded when the law enforcers’ passed by it.

No case has so far been registered with the police as reports say that Sindh police’s counterterrorism department (CTD) would lodge the case formally.

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