KARACHI - Three people were killed and dozen others wounded within an hour in two separate blasts in the sprawling metropolis of Karachi on Saturday, police said.

The first blast targeted the convoy of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation Commissioner Matanat Ali Khan in Essa Nagri area, wounding six people. Police said after leaving his office, Khan had just reached near Lyari Expressway entry gate when an explosive device planted at the roadside went off. They said the bomb was detonated remotely. Law enforcers and rescuers rushed and shifted the injured to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where one of them, a police guard Sohail Anjum Siddiqui, expired.

According to DSP Nasir Lohdi, the bomb, strapped to a motorbike parked nearby, carried at least five kilos of explosives with pellets. He said the explosion was so powerful that it wrecked a car, motorbikes and a rickshaw. The official further said Matanat Khan always used Lyari Expressway to reach his home from Civic Centre.

Investigators were busy ascertaining the nature of the bombing when another blast took place on the third floor of a building in Patel Para area. Police said the explosion took place in an apartment where terrorists were assembling explosive devices. Two of them died on the spot while three others sustained wounds, DIG Tahir Naveed said, adding the injured were shifted to Civil Hospital Karachi. Initial investigations suggested the bomb did not carry pellets.

DSP Qasim Ghouri pointed out the building was owned by a policeman Mansoor and his brother Ayub. He said they found explosive material and pellets from the apartment and the actual nature of the blast would be ascertained after their examination by forensic experts and bomb disposal squad.

The DSP further said the accused persons were affiliated with a terrorist group and had planned to carry out bombings in Karachi. Insiders said police uniforms were also found from the crime scene. But senior police officials remained tightlipped and avoided to make public the actual findings.