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Eight Killed In Blast In Karachi House; Grenades, Rifles Found

PTI 08 Jan 2010, 15:49:01 IST

Eight persons were killed and several others injured when an explosion ripped through a house being used by militants in Karachi  on Friday , police said. 

The blast in the suburban Baldia Town area appeared to be accidental, police said. Two Kalashnikov assault rifles, 22 grenades and two suicide jackets were found in the one-room house, which collapsed after the explosion.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters that the home had been rented by a man from the militancy-affected Swat valley. Some persons from Swat had come to visit this man last night, he said. 

Police said Riaz Khan, who hailed from Swat, had rented the house about two years ago. Two bodies were dismembered by the blast and all the dead appeared to be aged between 20 and 25. Two grenades were found in the pocket of one of the dead. 

Two suspects were also arrested from the scene, police said. Karachi police chief Waseem Ahmed told media that the men living in the house could have been planning a terrorist attack. 

The explosion blew out the windows of several homes in the congested Baldia Town neighbourhood. Rescue workers sifted through the rubble of the house and pulled out the bodies and injured after security forces cordoned off the area. 

Interior Minister Malik said a crackdown would be launched against illegal migrants living in cities like Karachi and the government would show "no mercy" to elements involved in militancy and extremism.

He also warned foreigners, including Afghan nationals, living illegally in Pakistan to leave the country. 

In a statement, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressed concern that the storage of explosives in a residential area of Karachi had "remained unnoticed by the law enforcement agencies". 

He ordered an inquiry into the incident and directed authorities to immediately submit a report to him. PTI