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Karachi continues to bleed; 21 more killed

26 December, 2012

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KARACHI: At least twenty-one people, including six guards of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) central spokesmen, were killed in unabated wave of sectarian and targeted violence in the metropolis on Tuesday.

ASWJ Central Spokesman and a prominent leader of the group Maulana Orangzaib Farooqi narrowly escaped an ambush in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. However, two of his personal guards and four police guards were killed in the attack. The ASWJ has announced a strike in Karachi today and mourning across Sindh. The Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) has also backed the strike call.

According to SSP Gulshan Asim Qaimkhani, the convoy of the ASWJ leader was heading towards ASWJ central office when it was intercepted by half a dozen motorcyclists at Moti Mahel, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, who fired on the vehicles. Seven people, including the maulana, his guards, a driver and four cops were hit. They were rushed to a private hospital where the doctors pronounced six of the guards dead, while the maulana was said to be in a stable condition. The assailants managed to flee after the attack.

Qaimkhani added that the attackers used Kalashnikovs, a 222 rifle and a 9MM pistol in the attack. Following the attack on Maulana Farooqi a large number of ASWJ activists and sympathisers rushed to the hospital and resorted to intense aerial firing. Violence erupted in different areas of the city as the news of the attack spread. Angry mobs protested in Nagan Chowrangi, Sohrab Goth, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Nazimabad, Qayumabad, Aisha Manzil, Lasbella, Patel Para Awami Markaz Shahra e Faisal, Punjab Chowrangi, Quaidabad, Gulshan-e-Hadeed and other areas of the city, suspending the flow of traffic. They set ablaze at least two vehicles.

Police and Rangers rushed to the disturbed areas to control the situation but failed to disperse the angry mobs. Most parts of the metropolis remained very tense and markets and bazaars closed. ASWJ spokesperson Maulana Saeed Akbar, while talking to our sources, condemned the attack and demanded security for the group's leaders. He said that the ASWJ would take out a long march on January 11 over the continued killing of prominent leaders of the Deoband school of thought.

Meanwhile, an activist of the ASWJ was injured in firing by the law enforcers in Gulshan-e-Hadeed, whereas two men affiliated with the group were killed in an armed attack in Orangi Town. A son of a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) was killed in the Defence Housing Authority. The victim was 20 years old. An activist of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was shot dead by motorcyclists in Chishti Nagar.

In another incident of an apparent sectarian killing, a Shia man was killed in his vegetable stall in Raees Amrohi Colony in Oragni Town. According to police the 28-year-old Shahid Hussain was also shot by armed motorcyclists. A man was killed while other injured in an armed attack in Azeempura, Shah Faisal Colony. The deceased and his brother were shot outside their house. Separately, two men were killed while another was injured in an armed attack near Sadder Parking Plaza.

A man was killed at Radio Pakistan. An official said that the deceased, Mazhar Zahir, 26, was shot by armed men, who escaped. The body of a 35-year-old man was found from a garbage dump within the jurisdiction of Nabi Baksh police station. Police said unidentified culprits had kidnapped the victim and dumped his body after killing him. A man was killed at Shaheen Hotel. He was also kidnapped and tortured before being killed.

A man was gunned down in New Karachi area, while a tortured body of a man was recovered from the Timber Market. Eidgah police found a bullet-riddled body. The identify of the deceased could not be ascertained. Similarly, the body of a man who had been shot dead was found near Aero Club in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

End.

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