Karachi: A fresh wave of political
violence appears to have hit Pakistan`s financial hub Karachi,
with at least 18 people shot dead in the last 24 hours in
different parts of the city.
Tension gripped parts of the city on Monday with three
more deaths reported in different areas. Among those killed
was a policeman on duty.
Shopkeepers were forced to pull down shutters and go
home late afternoon after unknown motorcycle-borne men fired
on some shopkeepers in the congested regal area.
"We saw at least four persons dressed in shalwar
kameez and on two bikes who came and fired direct shots at
some shops and screamed and abused us to close down shops," a
shopkeeper, Mustafa said at a mobile market.
Policemen patrolling in vans later visited the area
and assured the shopkeepers they would be protected and should
not shut down their shops.
"Some shops closed down but others reposed faith in
us," Asad Sheikh, a police official on duty said.
Karachi has in recent times seen a spate of political
violence in which hundreds have been killed.
Target shootings have occurred repeatedly as tensions
sore between the Muttaida Qaumi Movement which represents the
Urdu speaking people, the Pushtoon speaking Awami National
Party and the Aman (Peace) committee which claims to have the
backing of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party in the city.
All the parties blame each other for instigating the
violence but from time to time also point fingers at
"external" forces for disturbing the peace of Karachi.
Television channels reported that a body was found in
an abandoned car while a woman and a man were killed when
unknown people fired on buses in the Korangi and Garden areas
According to police, six people were injured when
unknown armed men opened fire near Disco Bakery in
Gulshan-e-Iqbal area last night.
The incident brought at a halt the business activities
in the area. Two others were shot and killed by unidentified
assailants in Kharadar area. The identities of the deceased
could not be ascertained.
In Gulistan-e-Jauhar area, near Mosmiyat, one man was
killed in firing incident while in a similar incident in
Gulzar-e-Hijri area a policeman, Arshad, was shot dead.
Sharfuddin Memon, a consultant with the Sindh home
ministry, confirmed the killings and said some extremist
elements were also behind the violence.
Officials said 18 people have been killed over the
last 24 hours in the city.
"These Jihadi groups are retaliating because the
government is taking action against them," Memon said.
An office of a political party was also attacked with
explosives in Soldier Bazar but the no loss of life occurred
since the office was closed.