In a heart-wrenching incident that unfolded on Wednesday, nine lives, including those of four children, were tragically lost, while a woman sustained injuries when an explosive ordnance, believed to be from a “rocket launcher,” detonated within a residence in the Mehwal Shah area of Kandhkot tehsil, located in the Kashmore district of Sindh, Pakistan. The devastating incident has sent shockwaves through the region, leaving the community reeling from the loss.
The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) for Kashmore-Kandhkot, Rohail Khoso, confirmed this sorrowful turn of events, providing grim details of the victims. Among the deceased were five children, two women, and two men. Meanwhile, the injured woman was swiftly referred to a hospital in Larkana for medical attention, as the life-changing event unfolded.
The house, a focal point of the tragedy, is situated within the jurisdiction of the Goghat police station and is owned by Ali Nawaz Sabzoi. Heartbreakingly, all the individuals affected by the explosion were members of the same family, amplifying the anguish of this incident.
SSP Khoso divulged that the tragedy had unfolded as children innocently stumbled upon a rocket while at play. Unaware of the danger they unwittingly brought into their home, the explosive device went off, claiming the lives of eight people in a devastating flash of destruction. Law enforcement authorities swiftly arrived at the scene, cordoning off the area as investigations into the incident got underway. Additionally, an emergency declaration was issued at the Kandhkot Civil Hospital to manage the aftermath of the catastrophe.
Sindh’s Chief Minister, Justice Maqbool Baqar, wasted no time in taking notice of the incident, expressing his deep concern and seeking answers regarding how a rocket launcher’s ordnance could have made its way into the Zangi Subzwai Goth. He raised critical questions, probing into the possibility of illegal weapon stockpiles being smuggled into the riverine areas and whether there were any accomplices aiding criminal elements in the village.
The chief minister’s statement resonated with the sentiments of the entire nation as he contemplated the circumstances surrounding the explosion that had resulted in such a devastating loss of lives. Justice Maqbool Baqar, deeply affected by the tragedy, directed the Inspector General to provide him with a comprehensive report detailing the incident’s particulars, vowing that a thorough investigation would be conducted.
This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced in regions like Sindh, particularly in the riverine areas. It is notable that the Sindh Apex Committee, comprised of civil and military officials, had recently convened to review the law and order situation in these areas. The committee had finalized plans for a significant operation led by the police and Rangers against dacoit gangs that have plagued the affected districts of upper Sindh.
During these discussions, it was revealed that Rangers had been strategically deployed alongside the police in upper Sindh districts. This concerted effort had already yielded results with the seizure of a substantial cache of military-grade weapons in Ghotki, a significant step towards ensuring the safety and security of these regions.
However, despite these efforts, incidents akin to the recent tragedy have occurred in the past, underscoring the need for heightened awareness and vigilance. Earlier this year, in April, a shepherd lost his life in a grenade blast near Chaman when he stumbled upon a hand grenade and began to play with it. Similarly, just days before, three children lost their lives in an explosion within the same region as they tampered with an object found within an abandoned compound.
The tragic history of such incidents extends further back, with cases of children unwittingly handling explosive devices with fatal consequences. In these moments of grief and reflection, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of awareness and education to prevent such heart-wrenching events from recurring.
As the nation mourns the loss of innocent lives in Kandhkot, the call for greater vigilance, education, and a concerted effort to eliminate the presence of dangerous ordnance in vulnerable areas resonates strongly. The tragedy is a stark reminder that safety and security must remain paramount, and the lessons learned from this devastating incident should serve as a catalyst for positive change.