Seven dead after blast at football game in Karachi

Aug 08, 2013, 01:03 IST | AFP

Football mad Abdul Basit, 15, dreamt of becoming Pakistan's Lionel Messi but his ambitions died in a bomb attack that killed him and up to seven others at a four-a-side match in Karachi.

It was the latest assault on sport in a country that has hosted no top-level international matches since militants attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in the eastern city of Lahore in March 2009.

Abdul Basit
Kin mourn around Abdul Basit’s body yesterday. Pic/AFP

Thousands of fans gathered to watch the final of one of many tournaments held during the fasting month of Ramadan in Lyari, the most dangerous neighbourhood of Karachi.

The neck and neck match between Baba Ladla 99 and Baba Ladla 92 — both named after a local gangster — finished 7-7 at around 2 am yesterday, when many people are still awake in Ramadan.

A penalty shootout handed BL 99 the game but minutes after the crowd erupted in joy, a deafening bomb exploded near the car of the chief guest, provincial minister Javed Nagori.

Nagori survived, but Basit and five other young football fans were among the eight whom match organisers said were killed. 

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