Fresh violence in Karachi; toll goes up to 15

At least 15 people have been killed and dozens injured in Karachi.

Karachi: At least 15 people have been
killed and dozens injured here as violence spread to new areas
today in the Pakistan`s commercial capital, following the
targeted killing of a leader of the Awami National Party.

The violence which broke out immediately after the
news of the killing of Ubaidullah Yousufzai yesterday spread
in the city and continued on Friday as well with dozens of
vehicles and shops torched as well by angry mobs.

Ubaidullah Yousafzai, a cargo operator employed with
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), and his friend Saleem
Akhtar were gunned down by unidentified people riding on a
motorbike outside the PIA cargo terminal.

Ten people were killed yesterday while fresh violence
claimed five more lives today taking the toll to 15 in two
days of unrest in the city.

The reaction was instant with miscreants indulging in
shooting, looting shops and burning vehicles and shops in
different parts of the city as the police and para-military
rangers moved into control the situation.

The ANP has announced three days of mourning after
the incident and many markets remained closed on Friday with
traffic remaining thin on the roads as people remained in fear
and panic of more violence.

At least 90 people were killed when similar violence
broke out after the assassination of a leader of the Mutthaida
Qaumi Movement on August 2 in the city.

Mobs forcibly closed markets and pelted stones at
passing vehicles and set on fire a office of the MQM in
Korangi area.

The MQM and ANP who are coalition partners with the
government in Sindh blame each other for the violence and
political analysts see their dispute as a bid to gain
political control of the city and show their muscle power.

The ANP won just two seats in the last provincial
elections in Sindh and the MQM emerged with around 38 seats
mainly from Karachi.

But with the influx and immigration of Pashtuns to
Karachi growing in the last few years due to the conflict in
the North West Frontier Province and in the tribal belts
involving the Taliban, the number of Pashtuns in Karachi has
increased to around 3 million according to unofficial figures
serving as a signal for the ANP to try to increase their
political and street power in the city.

The MQM had accused the ANP of killing their leader,
Reza Haider earlier this month.

The ANP leader, Bashir Bilour on Friday demanded that
the army be called in to take control of the situation if the
provincial government was unable to do so.