KARACHI - A shop owner was killed and at least 23 others were injured when a remote-controlled bomb device exploded near a bus carrying employees of Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) on Wednesday.

The blast occurred at around 4.10pm when the bus reached on Hub River Road, Mawach Goth in Baldia Town. The bus was carrying about 40 employees when the incident took place.

Following the blast, heavy contingent of law-enforcers including Rangers and police rushed to the site and collected evidence from the blast site while the volunteers from different welfare organisations also reached the site and shifted the victims to Murshid Hospital from where 10 injured were later shifted to Civil Hospital, Karachi.

West Zone DIG Akram Naeem Borkha while talking to the media at the blast site said that about 23 employees of SUPARCO were injured in the attack while the killed person was standing near his bicycle puncture shop at the blast site and died due to the shock.

He said only 10 injured employees remain admitted to the hospitals while the remaining others were released from the hospitals after first aid.

He said that most of the victims were injured after the windowpanes of the bus were broken due to the blast which hit the employees, adding, that all the injured were in stable condition.

It has been reported that Lashkar-e-Balochistan, a sub-organisation of the Balochistan Liberation Army was behind the attack as the LB claimed responsibility for the attack but when asked DIG Borkha, said that the police was investigating the case and nothing could be said about their involvement in the attack.

According to the injured employees, they did not have any idea how the blast occurred even they did not see anyone detonate the bomb.

 or plant the bomb on the bicycle. Panic was created in the area.

It is pertinent to mention here that it is not the first time when terrorists targeted the bus carrying the employees of SUPARCO but earlier in 2003, the terrorists belonging to the banned religious outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi also attacked a SUPARCO bus.

A senior police officer SSP Farooq Awan said that the 2003 attack on SUPARCO bus was on sectarian basis while nothing could be said about this attack but apparently, Lashkar-e-Balochistan, is behind this attack.

West Zone SSP Amir Farooqui said that a remote controlled device had been installed with a bicycle to target the SUPARCO bus and the terrorists targeted the bus shortly after the employees left the office.

BDS experts say that three kilograms highly explosive material was used in the bomb and it did not contain pallets and the explosive material was fixed in a container which was planted on a bicycle.

SUPARCO officials were not available when contacted.

Meanwhile, a heavy contingent of law-enforcers conducted several raids in Mawach Goth and its surrounding areas and detained over 10 suspects to probe the blast incident.

No case was registered till filing of this report.