Karachi: No end to killings as grenade, rocket attacks mounted
KARACHI: Arson, hand grenade and rocket attacks made Friday the deadliest day of recent violence, which was earlier restricted to targeted killings mainly in the western district, as it spread to southern and eastern parts of the metropolis, police and witnesses said.
At least 23 more people, including two young boys, were killed by midnight in the city where routine businesses remained suspended amid fears of violence and a call for what the Muttahida Qaumi Movement had said would be a peaceful protest and mourning.
While most killings were carried out in Orangi Town and the old city areas, more than half a dozen shops were burnt in Aligarh Colony and a commercial centre was set on fire in Kharadar. Besides, arsonists set fire to a truck in New Karachi, a rickshaw in Gulistan-i-Jauhar and a taxi in a Drigh Road area.
In the early hours, four rockets were fired in Turk Muhallah, Mujahidabad, Patni Muhallah and Gujarat Muhallah of Baldia Colony though they did not cause any casualty.
Eighteen-year-old Iqbal Arifeen was gunned down in an early morning attack by armed riders in Orangi Town Sector 11-1/2 within the remit of the Iqbal Market police station. The firing also left his paternal uncle, Qadem Khan, 34, wounded.
A young man, Arshad, was shot dead within the remit of the Mominabad police station. Qasba Colony remained the worst-affected area with the killing of six people within a span of a few hours in separate incidents of firing.
An official at the Pirabad police station said armed attacks reported in Qasba Colony No 1½ and 2½ claimed lives of 24-year-old Saifullah, 27-year-old Sakhi-ur-Rahman, 31-year-old Akbar alias Jumman. Intense firing also left 29-year-old Muhammad Usman and 10-year-old Yousuf Khan dead and four others, including a 12-year-old girl, wounded.
Also from the same area, the body of an unidentified young man was brought to the Qatar Hospital in Orangi Town. The Kati Pahari trouble spot witnessed two more killings on Friday. Rafiullah and Muhammad Arif were gunned down in separate incidents of firing, said an official of the Shahrah-i-Noor Jehan police station.
In Saeedabad, three youngsters were killed in an armed attack in Sector 9-D. Two of them were identified as Amjed Masih and Bismillah Khan, a police official said. All the three bodies were shifted to the Civil Hospital Karachi, he added.
In Gulshan-i-Iqbal, armed men near Hassan Square opened fire on a rickshaw, a taxi and two cars which were passing through Sir Shah Muhammad Suleman Road.
The firing killed grocery trader Dost Muhammad and left his two brothers, Lal Muhammad and Noor Muhammad, badly wounded, said an official at the Aziz Bhatti police station.
“The deadly attack also claimed the life of another young man, Muhammad Danial,” the official said. He added that all victims and bodies were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.
Firing in New Karachi Sector 5-M left a 60-year-old scrap dealer, Ghulam Sarwar, dead and two others wounded, police said.
In Baldia Town, a 12-year-old boy was hit by a stray bullet and died during treatment at the Civil Hospital. “Shah Abad was a resident of Ranghar Muhallah in Sector-7 and suffered a gunshot wound near his home,” a police official said.
In Malir, officials said, a young man was found shot dead in Model Colony. The body with a bullet in the head was shifted to hospital.
The old city areas, which had remained somewhat calm during the past three days, witnessed several hand-grenade and arson attacks besides firing incidents on Friday.
A 32-year-old watchman, Abdul Qayyum Gujjar, was gunned down in firing near Bombay Bazaar within the remit of the Kharadar police station. The victim was father of three and hailed from Bhurewala in Punjab, the police said.
In the same vicinity near the Machi Miani Market on G.Alana Road, a 29-year-old labour, Fazal-ur-Rehman, met the same fate. “He was a resident of Lyari and originally belonged to Mansehra,” said an official at the Kharadar police station.
The area witnessed yet another killing later when armed men targeted 42-year-old Noor Muhammad Khan near Sheedi Village.
The victim was said to be an activist of the Pakhtunkhawa Milli Awami Party and originally hailed from Quetta. Earlier, armed riders on two motorbikes lobbed off a hand-grenade at people preparing to open shops near Bhimpura that left three of them dead.
“Two victims have been identified as Hussain Ghahchi and Maoo Jee while another one remained unidentified,” said an official at the Napier police station.