Karachi: 2 dead, 42 injured as grenades hurled at Ismaili worshippers
KARACHI: A couple of hand grenade attacks at two Ismaili community Jamaat Khanas (Prayer Houses) left at least two dead and 42 injured here on Tuesday, Geo News reported.
According to sources grenades were tossed at two prayer houses located in Karimabad, Karachi Central, and Metroville, Karachi West, when both the buildings was packed with worshipers.
The attacks were carried out almost simultaneously, the police said.
The law-enforcers cordoned off the worship houses in both the areas immediately after the attacks, while the rescuers dealt with the casualties.
Rescue sources confirmed that a woman and a child were killed in the attack on Karimabad Jamaat Khana.
"A hand grenade fell inside the Karimabad prayer house, which killed a woman and a child and wounded dozens others, whereas Metroville attack injured two people" said a police official.
The police are clueless as to who the attackers could be as the non-violent Ismaili community has rarely come under such terrorist attacks in the past.
Nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks but Karachi, a city of 18 million people, is rife with murder and kidnappings and has been plagued for years by ethic, sectarian and political violence.
The Ismaili community is a faction of Shia Muslims that follows Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, its 49th Imam. Ismailis considers him as their spiritual leader.
Last edited by Admin on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:56 am, edited 2 times in total
KARACHI: Twin hand grenade attacks killed at least two people and wounded 28 others belonging to Ismaili Muslim community, a faction of Shia Islam, in Pakistan's port city of Karachi on Tuesday, officials said.
The first attack took place in the Karimabad neighbourhood during rush hour, creating panic in the area.
“A hand grenade fell inside worship place of Ismaili community, killing a woman and a child and wounding 26 others,” senior local police official, Aamir Farooqi told AFP.
The community follows billionaire Prince Karim Aga Khan, who lives in France, and considers him as spiritual leader.
A local intelligence official also confirmed the attack and casualties.
Another hand grenade targeting Ismailis worshipping in the western district of Metroville injured two people, local police official Asif Ejaz Sheikh said.
Nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks but Karachi, a city of 18 million people, is rife with murder and kidnappings and has been plagued for years by ethnic, sectarian and political violence.
Meanwhile, at least two people were injured in as many hand grenade and home-made bomb attacks in Karachi’s twin city Hyderabad. One of the attacks was reportedly targeted a stall, setup to sell national flags in the wake of Independence Day celebrations for August 14.
Three killed, over 32 injured in hand grenade attacks on Agha Khan Jamat Khanas in Karachi
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 9:33:32 PM
KARACHI: At least three persons have been reported killed and over 32 injured in separate hand grenades on two Agha Khan Jamat Khanas in Karachi, SAMAA reports.
Some unknown attackers threw hand grenades inside ladies’ portion of Agha Khan Jamat Khans at Aisha Manzil and fled away.
Three persons including women and child were killed and 30 others sustained injuries in the attack, told police officials after initial probe into the incident.
The second attack was launched on another Agha Khan Jamat Khana in SITE, Metroville area of the metropolis. Two persons injured in this second attack.
Heavy contingents of police and rescue teams rushed to the attack sides and started moving the injured to hospital after cordoning off the area. Most of the injured and dead bodies were moved to Agha Khan Hospital.
The police and rangers have surrounded both attack sides and moved everyone included media persons away from the scenes.
SSP Umar Farooq and rescue sources have confirmed that three persons lost lives and over 42 injured in the attacks on Agha Khan Jamat Khanas. SAMAA
In Karimabad JK, One young woman (who was widow) and her small child were martyred on 13th Aug. Others were injured. It was very sad incident. No one has claimed responsibility for such act of cowardice and cruelty. Insha Allah, the criminals will be caught and punished (aameen). We all should pray for safety and security of all Ismailis and other innocent people who are becoming victim of terrorist attacks in Karachi.
We are very sad to hear this tragic event happen in Pakistan. We in Canada pray that may HIM give you strength and courage to go on with your daily lives. May Mowla rest their souls in eternal peace and bless their Families.
I heard that Mowla sent talika to the Jamat in Pakistan saying that Allah will punish the People who did this. Is this correct?
No, its not true that MHI said "May Allah Punish them......."
It was a normal Talika in which MHI gave blessings and Prayed for the deceased and injured. And asked the Jamat to remain Calm and Peaceful.
There goes the neighbourhood: As Garden East declines, the Ismaili community looks to move elsewhere
By Zeenia Shaukat / Photo: Zeenia Shaukat
Published: October 15, 2013
The apartment buildings and the Aga Khan Park, just a few metres away from the Jamaat Khana in Garden East, are covered with wall-chalking, such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Zindabad (above). PHOTO: ZEENIA SHAUKAT
KARACHI: The debris of a demolished building obstructs pedestrians as they rush to make it to the Jamaat Khana on time. As an elderly couple tries to avoid the splash of the gutter water flowing on the street outside the Aga Khan Park, the man inadvertently runs into a motorcycle coming from the opposite direction. He is helped by the volunteers assisting people to get to the Jamaat Khana safely.
An hour later, on their way back, as commuters pick groceries from the shops located around the Britto Road, extortionists casually go about their business, quietly instructing the shopkeepers to handover the “Daily”. Two more hours into the dark, shots of gunfire from Patel Para replace the now lowered down traffic noise.
This is the account of an evening of a large majority of the Ismaili community living in Garden East. Their troubles have just been compounded by an immense sense of insecurity following the attack on the Karimabad Jamaat Khana on August 13. The residents had, however, sensed such an attack long before from hints appearing all across the locality. The apartment buildings and the Aga Khan Park, just a few metres away from the Jamaat Khana, are covered with wall-chalkings which scream, “Jiye Taliban!”, “Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Zaindabad”, and “Long Live Sipah-e-Sahaba”. A professional painter Ali-Muawiya has also scrawled a message for the women of the community, “Pardey daar aurat haqeeqi aurat hoti hai [A veiled woman is a real woman],” on the park’s wall. Community volunteers admit that they feel extremely vulnerable on duty in the evenings. “The female visitors are frequently harassed by young men coming from Patel Para. We have to tread very carefully to protect the community people as well as avoid any unnecessary confrontation,” shared one volunteer.
In the grip of violence
The people of Garden East are among those who have witnessed Karachi’s degeneration from a close range. The vertical spread of housing units has replaced 70- to 100-year-old colonial structures. The latest regressive building regulations rid builders of the obligation to keep space for car parking and playgrounds. The restricted space curbs more than just movement – young boys are forced to take to the streets for casual sports, battling the constant flow of vehicles. Due to the fear of harassment, girls are not allowed by their parents to step out of house “unnecessarily”. Street crimes are common as criminals find their easy targets in people struggling to move between parked cars and flowing gutters.
Episodes of public violence have become a norm of the first six months of the year alone seven bodies were found from the Garden area, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal. Three traffic wardens were murdered close to the Jamaat Khana in the month of April.
A struggling community
The Ismaili community has mostly remained apolitical even though their late spiritual leader Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III is known to be among the pioneers of the idea of Pakistan. The community, however, displayed a fair degree of interest in the democratic engagement.
The 2013 elections saw one of the highest voter turnouts in NA-252 constituency covering the Garden East area [321,191 registered voters with over 53% turnout compared to 277,553 with 42% turnout in the 2008 elections].
The community members also volunteered at the polling stations but the enthusiastic participation and the spirit of volunteerism, unaccompanied by citizen action or a movement to influence change, did little for the plight of the Garden East.
The writer is a resident of Garden East
Changing demographics, landscapes
The area’s demography and landscape are changing rapidly. The Ismaili population, which originally moved here in the 1940s and later to live close to the world’s biggest jamaat khana which can accommodate over 20,000 people, is emigrating to either Clifton/Defence or abroad, out of security fears. Though they are being replaced by the Ismailis from Karimabad and Kharadar, the area is now quietly being taken over by a growing migration of non-Ismaili communities, especially Memons, Pashtun and Baloch.
The biggest mosque of the area, Pakola Masjid, is now surrounded by five other mosques within walking distance. Garden East’s only park, Aga Khan Park, has been completely shut for any activity apart from occasional sports and Eid prayers. There is a section for women that opens only for certain hours in the day. Unlike other parks in the city, the AK Park has been walled rather than grilled. While drug addicts manage to sneak into the park, its locked gates make it inaccessible for the public of the area.
The changes in demographics have had a very deep impact on the community’s living, sense of security and interaction with the society. In the 1980s and the 1990s, the community used to host weekly youth events that enjoyed packed attendance at the community ground next to the Jamaat Khana. Today, security concerns allow no such activity.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2013.
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