17 killed in Karachi gambling den bombing | Pakistan Today

17 killed in Karachi gambling den bombing

A bomb blast at Rummy Club near Karachi’s Ghasmandi area left at least 17 people dead and 44 critically injured on Thursday. The blast caused considerable panic and a stampede, with people running in all directions. Police and paramilitary forces reached the site of the explosion and cordoned off the area, while rescue teams began their activities.

Most of the victims were charred beyond recognition and limbs were scattered all over the place. The dead bodies and 37 of the injured were taken to Civil Hospital Karachi, while three were sent to Jinnah Hospital and another was taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Several bodies and wounded people were taken to the hospital in private vehicles owing to a shortage of ambulances. The club was set up in an apartment of a building called Zahid Arcade. The bomb was reportedly planted under table No 1 inside the club and left a 1.5-foot crater in the floor. A bomb disposal squad official said it was made locally and possibly detonated by remote control. However, Special Investigation Unit Senior Superintendent Umar Khattab said the explosion was caused by a timed device.

Eyewitnesses said that an unidentified man carrying a metal box came to the club and left after a few minutes, after which the bomb went off. Sources said that the club was being run by a man called Ramzan and belonged to an “influential government personality”, and another was present at the club just before the blast.  Sources said Anti-Violent Crime Cell Sub-Inspector Waseem was protecting the club in exchange for millions of rupees in bribes. The sub-inspector was a declared “beater”, an officer that collected bribes on behalf of Karachi police, they said.

“It seems that both personalities, who belong to the ruling party, were the target of the attack,” said a police officer who wished to remain unnamed. Deputy Inspector General (South) Iqbal Mahmood told Pakistan Today that police was investigating the incident and nothing could be said for certain until investigation was finished.

Khattab said two kilogrammes of explosives and ball-bearings were used in the bomb. No one claimed responsibility for the bombing at the club, which is in an area known for turf wars between criminal gangs of the city.