3 Chinese among 4 dead in blast at Karachi University

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KARACHI: At least four people, including three Chinese nationals, were killed while two others were injured in a blast outside the University of Karachi’s (KU) Confucius Institute on Tuesday, according to officials.

Sindh IG Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar confirmed the death toll in a telephone call with Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. A handout from the CM’s office quoted the officer as saying that the blast took place in a van at approximately 2:30pm.

A spokesperson for the university later confirmed that three of the victims were Chinese nationals. They were identified as Confucius Institute Director Huang Guiping, Ding Mupeng, Chen Sa and Khalid, the driver.

The spokesperson added that two others, Wang Yuqing and Hamid, were injured in the incident.

Earlier in the day, SSP East Syed Abdul Rahim Sherazi had hinted that a “couple” of Chinese nationals, who were part of KU faculty, were among those killed in the incident.

Television footage showed a white van in flames with plumes of smoke rising from its remains while the windows of nearby buildings were shattered. The van appeared to be turning towards the Confucius Institute, located next to the commerce department, when the incident took place.

Footage also showed police and rescue services present at the scene of the incident.

Speaking to the media, DIG East Muqaddas Haider, said initial information showed the van was headed to the institute after leaving the hostel.

“The explosion took place at the van’s right side at the [institute’s] entrance. We are still establishing what type of explosion it was,” Haider said, confirming that four people had been killed.

When asked to comment on the nature of the blast, the DIG said it was too early to say anything definitively. Haider said CCTV footage was being analysed and the nature of the blast would only be confirmed after the bomb disposal squad submitted its report.

Meanwhile, the chief minister directed the Counter-Terrorism Department and SSP East to immediately reach the site of the incident. Shah issued directives for the injured to be shifted to Dow University Hospital and also asked the Karachi commissioner to submit a report.