KARACHI: At least 30 people were killed and scores of people wounded on Monday after a powerful blast ripped through the Karachi’s main Ashura procession at MA Jinnah Road.
The blast struck the city’s main Ashura procession near Tibet Center at MA Jinnah Road, killing at least 30 people and wounding 80 others.
Fahim Siddiqui, senior reporter of Geo News, is also among the injured. Siddiqui has been shifted to a nearby hospital, where he is getting emergency treatment.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of mourning processions converged to Nishtar Park, from where they marched down the MA Jinnah Road. As the mourners reached the Tibet Center, a powerful blast took place.
The blast triggered stampede and panic among the participants of the procession. Some unknown armed men also fired shots. Fire broke out after the blast in Karachi, fanning thick smoke into the sky, and people were running in all directions.
Speaking to Geo News, Interior Minister Rehman Malik strongly condemned the blast and termed it a suicide attack. Malik said no Muslim could be involved in such heinous acts of terrorism.
MQM chief Altaf Hussian also called upon the people to maintain calm.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, in their separate messages, have also strongly condemned the blast at main procession of Aushra in Karachi on Monday.
The President and the Prime Minister also ordered immediate inquiry and submission of report. They also ordered for provision of immediate best medical facilities to the injured. The two leaders also appealed to the masses to remain peaceful.
According to media reports, angry mob have set ablaze Light House building situated at the MA Jinnah Road. While several vehicles, parked around the city court, have also been set on fire, sources said.
People are stranded in the building, which was set on fire.
There are also reports of unrest at different parts of the city, including Numaish, Jafar Society and MA Jinnah Road.
Edhi ambulances, KESC vehicles and police mobiles were torched.