Pak: Attack on Shias; 2 killed, nearly 20 injured

Two persons were killed and 19 others injured in a gun and bomb attack on a group of Shia students in the port city of Karachi.

Karachi: Two persons were killed and 19 others injured in a gun and bomb attack on a group of Shia students in the port city of Karachi on Friday, a day after 25 community members were pulled out of three buses and shot dead by masked gunmen in Pakistan`s northwest.

Members of the Imamia Students Organisation, who were on their way to a rally organised to mark Yum-al-Quds -- which is observed on the last Friday of the month of Ramzan to show solidarity with Palestinians, were fired at by unidentified gunmen.

At least five persons were injured in the shooting, witnesses said.

Minutes later, a bus carrying members of the Imamia Students Organisation, a body of Shia Muslims, was targeted with a remote-controlled explosive device near Safari Park area in Karachi.

The bus was partially destroyed as a result of the blast, which also hit over half a dozen cars and motorcycles.

One person was killed instantly, witnesses and police said. Another person died at the hospital.

Officials at nearby hospitals said they had received 14 injured people.

Police officials and witnesses said most of the injured were hit by ball bearings packed into the bomb.

The gun-and-bomb attack came a day after masked gunmen pulled out 25 Shia Muslims from three buses and shot them dead in Naran Valley of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

It also followed the Taliban attack on the Pakistan Air Force`s key Kamra airbase in Punjab province that left nine terrorists and two security personnel dead yesterday.

Officials at Jinnah Hospital said some of the injured in today`s attack were in serious condition.

Dr Seemi Jamali, the director of Emergency Services at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, said that two of the injured, who were in critical condition, have been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

"It was a bomb blast," Deputy Inspector General of Police Shahid Hayat told reporters at the site.

Other officials said the bomb had contained about two kilograms of explosives.

The blast also caused damage to nearby shops.

Footage on television showed the rear of the bus had borne the brunt of the blast. Its windows were blown out and its sides pierced by ball bearings.

A car was also badly damaged by the blast, which was triggered by an explosive device planted near the wall of an electricity sub-station. The blast also caused extensive damage to the wall of the sub-station and the pavement.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Security forces cordoned off the area and stopped traffic for some time.

Senior Superintendent of Police Javed Maher said that an additional contingent of police had been deployed at the blast site.

Participants at the rally site staged a protest and chanted slogans against the incident.

The protesters complained that proper security was not provided to the participants despite bus routes being known.