Karachi: A MQM legislator and his son were on Friday shot dead by Taliban militants in a drive-by shooting outside a mosque here, triggering violence in many parts of Pakistan`s financial hub that claimed at least 13 lives.
Sajid Qureshi, a Muttahida Quami Movement legislator (MQM) in Sindh Assembly, and his 26-year-old son were gunned down when they emerged from the mosque in North Nazimabad area after Friday prayers.
"Four armed men on motorcycles opened fire on the MPA and his son as they walked towards their car," senior police official Aamir Qureshi said.
Sajid, in his early 50s, was killed instantly while his son succumbed to his injuries at a nearby hospital, the official said, adding that the incident triggered violence in many parts of the city that left at least 13 people dead.
Fifteen people, including the MPA and his son, were killed in incidents of targeted killings as bodies were found in gunny-bags from various locations in the city, police said.
The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the killing the legislator and his son.
Speaking on phone from an undisclosed location to reporters in northwest Pakistan, Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said the attack was in line with the group`s decision to target leaders of the "secular" MQM, Awami National Party and Pakistan People`s Party.
Soon after the incident tension spread in the city as the MQM announced a three-day mourning period while appealing for a complete strike tomorrow. Business activities came to a halt in different parts of Karachi.
"We have been saying all along that our workers, members and lawmakers are being targeted by criminals given a free hand by the provincial government," senior MQM leader Rasheed Gondal told reporters.
There were incidents of firing and arson in some parts, but police earlier claimed the situation was under control.
"Firing incidents have been reported from Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Nazimabad, Orangi, Benaras," one official said.
Protesters also set on fire vehicles in some areas as markets, shopping centres and petrol pumps started to close down.
Interior minister, Chaudhary Nisar Khan yesterday gave the provincial Sindh government one month to improve the law and order situation in Karachi or face action.
The MQM has been holding protests and peaceful strikes for the last one month over the killings and kidnappings of their workers and sympathisers in the city.
Incidents of targeted killings have increased dramatically in Karachi in the last two days with 14 people killed on Thursday and nine on Wednesday, police said.
Motorcyclists opened fire near a shopping mall in Shah Faisal Colony No-1 today, killing a seminary teacher, they said.
The deceased was identified as 35-year-old Yasir Hassan Qureshi while two people were gunned down in Chakiwara, two more in Garden and others in Shershah, Lasbella, Kemari, Shah Faisal, Abul Isphani road and Benaras.
Bodies of two men were also recovered from Ibrahim Hyderi. The bodies bore marks of severe torture.
Another mutilated body of a 25-year-old man was recovered from Akber Market in Shershah.
Gunmen also injured four people after opening fire at a cafe near Gulbai Chowk, Mauripur Road.