Karachi: At least seven persons were killed and 15 more injured when two improvised explosive devices went off in a crowded commercial area in the Pakistani financial hub of Karachi Tuesday evening, officials and witnesses said.
The explosions took place near a shopping mall just outside the bustling Hyderi market and the number of casualties could increase.
Senior Superintendent of Police Asim Qaimkhani told a news agency that the explosions appeared to have been caused by remote controlled devices fixed in motorcycles in the parking lot of a shopping mall, Dolmen Mall.
"The explosions were severe and loud and have caused lot of damage. The police is presently busy in trying to clear the area to avoid anymore casualties," he said.
A witness told a TV news channel that the first blast occurred in a garbage dump and second near a car in a parking lot.
Geo News channel reported that seven people had been killed while several injured were being rushed to hospitals.
Officials of the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital said they had received six bodies, including that of a young girl. At least 15 injured people were taken to nearby hospitals.
No group claimed responsibility for the blasts.
The bombs contained several kilograms of explosives and were packed with pellets or ball bearings that caused extensive damage to nearby buildings, police officials said.
The powerful blasts, heard from several kilometres away, blew out the windows of several buildings.
Several cars and a motorcycle were damaged by the blasts, which police officials said were caused by IEDs planted in the area. Footage on television showed several damaged cars and carts.
Police and paramilitary forces cordoned off the area as rescue workers rushed the injured to hospital.
The area where the explosions occurred has a sizeable population of the minority Bohra community.
On August 13, police had found an explosive device in the same area.
Today`s explosions took place on a day when protests continued in the southern part of the city against a film deemed offensive to Islam which led to clashes between the police and protesters.