At least four boys were injured when a hand grenade they were playing with went off here in Samijabad area on Wednesday. Police launched a big search operation in Samijabad and adjoining areas after the incident and the entire vicinity was cordoned off till filing of this report.

City Police Officer Sultan Ahmed Chaudhry confirmed the incident and told the journalists that the children found a hand grenade and three pistols in a nearby canal. He suspected that the grenade was thrown into the canal by any terrorist to avert arrest during a recent search operation conducted by police in the same area a few days back. He added that while playing one of the boys tried to pull the pin of the grenade which resulted in a big blast. The injured were identified as Hamza, 20, Umar, 10, Umar Waqas, 12, and Rab Nawaz, 8. They were rushed to the hospital by Rescue 1122 personnel and their condition is stated to be precarious.

The blast panicked the citizens and parents rushed to schools and colleges to pick their children. Security was also beefed in the city as police contingents were deployed at different sensitive spots.

Meanwhile, Provincial Minister for Prisons Abdul Waheed Arrain and District Coordination Officer Zahid Saleem Gondal visited Nishtar Hospital and inquired after the health of the injured boys. Talking to the journalists, the DCO said that the injured boys were being given free medical treatment and specialist doctors supervised their treatment. He added that the injured boys would be given financial aid on direction of Chief Minister Punjab. He said that the security was beefed up to thwart the nefarious designs of terrorists. He urged upon the citizens to inform district administration if they located any suspicious activity, person or emergency situation. “It is our joint responsibility to unite for elimination of terrorism menace from the country,” he asserted.