Karachi: Five more activists gunned down
KARACHI: At least five political activists were gunned down in separate incidents of firing in the city and the lone survivor of the Monday attack on Mohajir Qaumi Movement–Haqiqi leaders died during treatment at hospital on Thursday, bringing the number of targeted killings over the past four days to 24, police and party sources said. While fears of deadly violence in reaction to these killings haunted Karachiites, most localities remained peaceful.
At the same time, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah claimed that the menace had been ‘controlled to an extent’ after sweeping action was taken across the board on intelligence reports.
Gunmen returned to Sector 10 of Orangi Town in the early hours of Thursday following the first strike on Wednesday night that left two dead. Police officials said the armed men riding a motorbike attacked two youngsters standing in a street in a locality near Qasba Colony, Mairaj-un-Nabi Colony.
“The victims were identified as Raza Idrees and Sarfaraz Ali. Both were in their mid-20s and residents of the same area. The bodies have been shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities,” said an official at the Mominabad police station. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement claimed that the youngsters were its members and were targeted for their political association by the ‘anti-peace elements’ in the city.
“In two days, nine MQM workers were killed in firing incidents. We want the police and authorities in Islamabad to expose the people behind such brutality. We want to make it clear that any attempt to restrict Karachiites within Karachi won’t meet success,” Raza Haroon, Sindh minister and a key leader of the MQM, told a press conference during the day. Later, an activist of the Amir Khan-led faction of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-H) was targeted in Malir.
“The 39-year-old victim, Zeeshan alias Munna, was a cable operator,” said an official at the Khokhrapar police station. “He was busy with other colleagues in professional work in Muhammadi Colony when he was attacked by two armed men riding a motorbike. He was hit by six bullets and died on the spot.” The victim was named in the 1997 murder of DSP Aslam Kayani in the Malir area, the official said, adding that he had left the area in 2002 and returned only a couple of years ago.
The police remained clueless about the motive and people behind the killing, but a spokesman for the Amir Khan-led faction of the MQM-H said that the victim was associated with the Malir sector of the party’s organisational structure. In the late hours, two people were killed in an attack on a roadside restaurant on Abyssinya Line Road near Fauji Hotel in Lines Area, police said.
The police said at least four armed men riding two motorbikes fired at the people sitting inside the restaurant. “The assault left 30-year-old Sher Ali and Zaman Sharif dead,” said SSP of Saddar Town Irshad Ali Raza. He added that another youngster, Ahmed Khan, sustained multiple bullet wounds and was shifted to hospital.
Meanwhile, the lone survivor of the Monday ambush, which killed vice chairman of the Afaq Ahmed-led faction of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-H) Akhtar Hussain with his two aides on Shaheed-i-Millat Road, died from his wounds at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on Thursday, officials and party sources said. They said the victim, Anwar Ali, was operated upon twice after he had suffered gunshot wounds in the abdomen and chest but he could not survive. “He was originally a resident of Shah Faisal Colony and living these days in Sherpao Colony of the Landhi Town due to a persistent threat to his life,” the party spokesman said.