Karachi remains tense; death toll in violence rises to 94

: Pakistan`s financial capital Karachi remained tense today after an outbreak of poll-related violence and targeted killings in the port city that has left 94 people dead and scores wounded since Saturday.

Last Updated: Oct 21, 2010, 23:59 PM IST

Karachi: Pakistan`s financial capital Karachi remained tense today after an outbreak of poll-related violence and targeted killings in the port city that has left 94 people dead and scores wounded since Saturday.

Four people had been shot dead in violence in some parts of the city bringing the total number of targeted killings to 15 since yesterday, police said today.

Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza said that government was ready to launch an operation in sensitive areas of Karachi to root out the criminals and terrorists involved
in the target killings and arson attacks.

"We have compiled a list to pinpoint the sensitive areas," Mirza said after a meeting with the provincial head of the Awami National Party (ANP) Shahi Syed, one of the stakeholders in the provincial government.

According to details, some 343 people have been killed in gunfire and arson attacks this year in this city where the latest outbreak of violence began when gunmen opened indiscriminate firing and killed 12 people in the Shershah Kabari market two days back.

Mutthaida Qaumi Movement, which commands 38 seats in the provincial assembly and around 20 in the National Assembly and is a coalition partner of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party government, has blamed the ANP and ganglords in the crime infested Lyari area for the violence.

The ANP which is also a major partner of the ruling government with 10 National Assembly seats, two in Sindh and its own government in the Khyber-Pakhtoonkhawa province, blamed the MQM for the violence and targeted killings.

Police figures show that around workers of different political parties including the MQM and ANP and religious parties have fallen prey to target killings this year in the
city.

After the latest outbreak of violence, there were demands from some parties for an Army operation in Karachi but this was rejected by the President and Prime Minister.

The home minister is also due to meet with the MQM and ANP at the governor house later today to broker a peace process.

Yesterday, 11 people were killed in violence in different parts of the city as the MQM announced a day of mourning for the Shershah victims and the city shut down.

Despite government claims to restore peace and apprehend the criminals and terrorists, armed men continued to rule in the eastern parts of the city.

The worst affected areas in the city have been Gulistan e Jouhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Orangi, Gulzar Colony, along the Malir river, Baldia town, Lyari and Sohrab Goth.

PTI