Rawalpindi            -        At least 1 person was killed and over 12 got injured, some of them critically, on Friday in a powerful improvised explosive device (IED) blast at a crowded Chotta Bazaar in Saddar, sources and officials said.

Of the 12 injured, there were two children, aged five and 10 years. The blast took place at 8:30pm at the crowded Chotta Bazaar (Koyla Center) in Saddar, the precinct of Police Station (PS) Cantt, they said. 

Initial report suggested that explosives kept in the root of an electricity pole near Dehli Grocery Store opposite Food Corner exploded when scores of people were busy in different sorts of work in the market. The blast was so powerful that it could be heard at a long distance. A fire also broke out in a motorcycle that was parked near the electricity pole. Two motorcycles, shops and buildings around the blast site also got damaged. A wave of panic swelled in the Cantt and garrison city with security put on high alert by the police. 

A heavy contingent of police including City Police Officer (CPO) Muhammad Ahsan Younas, SSP Operations Tariq Walayat, SP Potohar Division Syed Ali, SHO PS Cannt SI Raja Aizaz Azeem, Pakistan Army troops, personnel of different intelligence agencies, Rescue 1122 and Bomb Disposal Squad reached at the blast site and cordoned off the area. All the roads leading to blast site were also sealed by the police. 

The dead and the injured were moved to District Headquarters Hospital Raja Bazaar by the Rescue 1122. The deceased has been identified as Muhammad Arfeen son of Ikram, resident of Peoples Colony, a fruit vendor by profession. Those who sustained injuries were identified as Muhammad Imran Qureshi (40), Abbas (12), Sufyan (5), Wali Asar  (10) his condition is critical, Muhammad Nazir (46), Shamraiz (22), Shahid Ali (37), Ahmed Din (50), Khuda Bakash (50), Hur Nisar (35) and Hammad Ali (18).  “One killed and 11 others injured in a blast that took place in Chotta Bazaar,” said SHO PS Cantt SI Raja Aizaz while talking to The Nation. He said police along with personnel of other law enforcement agencies are on site and investigating the matter. He said dead and injured persons were shifted to hospital.

 

 

He said a motorcycle was also taken into custody from crime scene. 

Rescue 1122 spokesman Farooq told media that rescuers responded to the blast site on calls of locals and moved a dead body and 10 injured to DHQ Hospital for autopsy and medical treatment. 

Till the filing of this report, the police high-ups and personnel of other law enforcement agencies were investigating the matter. BDS experts also collected evidences from the scene for further investigation.