`Ethnic violence` claims 7 more lives in Karachi
KARACHI, June 14: At least seven people were gunned down in separate armed attacks blamed on a wave of ethnic violence that spread from strife-hit Orangi Town to other parts of the city on Tuesday.
Five of the victims were killed in different localities of Orangi Town, where at least seven persons, including two women, were also wounded.
Tension and fear continued to grip the densely populated locality on Tuesday, where intermittent gunfire forced residents to stay indoors.
The breakdown of law and order, however, failed to make the city’s security establishment take additional measures to restore peace.
Daylong violent incidents began right after sunrise when the police found the bullet-riddled body of a middle-aged man.
“The victim sustained multiple bullet wounds. The body was dumped on an open plot near Ibrahim Ali Bhai Hyderi School in 1-C area of Orangi Town No. 1,” said an official at the Orangi Town police station.
“The body was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities, from where it was taken to the Edhi morgue for want of identification.”
Businesses remained closed in different parts of the town for a second consecutive day amid a rattle of gunfire with public transport off the roads.
Aligarh, Qasba Colony, Kali Pahari, Bukhari Colony, Islamia Colony, Muslimabad and neighbouring localities along Kati Pahari were among the worst-affected parts of Orangi Town.
In the second half of the day, two teenagers were shot dead when armed motorcyclists started indiscriminate firing in the Muslimabad area.
A spokesman for the Awami National Party said that it was an attack on a party office in the Muslimabad unit and the victims — 16-year-old Muhammad Wahid and 17-year-old Ibrar Khan — were party activists.
“It was a brutal act. An armed group backed by a political party is bent upon destroying the peace and ethnic harmony of Karachi,” he said.
Later, a roadside tea stall in Qasba Colony came under a similar armed attack which left a youngster dead and another wounded.
An official at the Pirabad police station said that four armed men on two motorbikes fired at the people sitting outside the tea stall.
“The attack was on Shaheen Hotel in Qasba Colony, which was already closed due to poor law and order,” said Pirabad SHO Inspector Raja Akhtar. “Some waiters who somehow managed to the reach their workplace and a couple of other people were standing outside the tea stall when the armed men sprayed them with bullets.”
The firing killed 30-year-old Nazar Muhammad and left 17-year-old Noor Maalik, one of the waiters, wounded, he said, adding that the victim was a resident of Shah Faisal Muhalla and a scrap dealer.
Two women — Shahida and Saima — sustained bullet wounds in sporadic gunfire in Orangi Town’s Sector 1 near Mustafa Masjid.
Unidentified assailants struck again within the jurisdiction of the Pirabad police station and shot dead a young man near Shahzad Cinema.
The police said that 24-year-old Junaid Hussain was a resident of Orangi Town’s Sector 10 and targeted when he was returning home after regular working hours from an industrial unit in the SITE area.
In the evening, armed men shot dead a labourer and wounded his colleague in a Federal B Area locality when they were returning home after daily work.
The area police, however, expressed unawareness about the motive, but did not rule out that the assault might have been carried out on ethnic grounds.
“They live in the Old Sabzi Mandi area, but originally hailed from Abbotabad,” said Sub-Inspector Ali Hasan, the SHO of the Yousuf Plaza police station. “As they got off a minibus near the Water Pump bus stop to catch another minibus to reach home, armed riders emerged and fired at them.”
One of them, identified as 26-year-old Mukhtiar Ahmed, died on the spot, he said, adding that 28-year-old Naveed Riaz sustained bullet wounds and was shifted to a hospital for treatment.
In another incident, unidentified assailants shot dead a youngster and wounded two others when they opened indiscriminate fire on people at a public park near Old Sabzi Mandi.
An official at the New Town police station said that two men on a motorbike stopped outside a park near Old Sabzi Mandi and one of them got off the two-wheeler and fired indiscriminately targeting people inside.
“The firing killed a young man, later identified as Salman Ishaq, and left two persons, Nasim Khatoon and Abdul Aziz, wounded. All of them were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for treatment,” he said.