Karachi: Targeted killings claim six more lives
KARACHI: Half a dozen people, including a lawyer and two political activists, were gunned down in targeted attacks in different areas on Wednesday though no major incident of violence was reported in any part of the metropolis, police officials and party sources said.
However, businesses in PIB Colony, Old Sabzi Mandi and Hassan Square came to a halt after two young men said to be senior workers of the Pakistan People’s Party were shot dead in the morning.
Armed men riding two motorbikes pulled up close to Makrani Masjid near Old Sabzi Mandi and fired multiple shots at the two PPP workers before fleeing, the police said.
The officials added the victims were identified as 23-year-old Ahmed Baloch and 24-year-old Tariq Baloch, who sustained three and four bullets of 30-bore and 9mm pistols, respectively.
“They were residents of the Sindhi Para area, a low-income neighbourhood close to the site of the incident,” said an official at the PIB Colony police station.
While the official said he was still unaware about the attackers and their motive, the PPP leadership saw the killings on political grounds and part of an ‘attempt to deteriorate city peace’.
“More than 150 PPP workers have been killed since the democratic party came into power,” said a PPP Karachi division statement. The ruling party also demanded that the government arrest the attackers and expose ‘the foreign hand if there is one’.
Gunfire was heard following the incident that forced the traders to pull down shutters and transport gradually turned thin. Earlier, the bodies of two young men, stuffed in gunny bags, were found at an isolated place in Nazimabad.
The area police said each victim, who remained unidentified, was hit by a single bullet in the head, besides there were torture marks visible on their bodies. They were convinced that the men in their mid-20s had been kidnapped and killed somewhere else before their bodies were dumped at the isolated place.
“The bodies were found in Nazimabad No 1 in an area which is known as Muslim League Quarters,” said Rizvia SHO Inspector Masroor Ejaz. The bodies were shifted to the Edhi morgue after medico-legal formalities at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
Later in the evening, a 31-year-old lawyer was shot dead shortly after he arrived back home in block 17 of the Federal B’ Area from his office situated in the old city area. Police said Muhammad Junaid was hit by three bullets fired from a close range as he got off his motorbike outside his home.
“The lawyer died on the spot,” said Inspector Fasihuddin, the SHO Gulberg police station. Eyewitnesses were quoted as saying that an armed man riding a motorbike stopped close to Junaid and fired multiple shots at him before speeding away. The incident sparked anger among the legal fraternity that held the government responsible for the frequent attacks on lawyers despite several assurances from the authorities concerned.
“We’ve tried in vain to see Interior Minister Rahman Malik,” said Karachi Bar Association President Muhammad Aqil. “We have made several requests to the home department to ensure security of our several colleagues, who are under threat due to their professional duties but without success.
Muhammad Junaid was a young member of our fraternity and enrolled with the KBA only in 2007. We would boycott court proceedings on Thursday and hold a general body meeting to decide future strategy.”
In Shah Faisal Colony, a young man was gunned down outside a private clinic. While the victim remained unidentified, the area police believed that the killing was not the result any robbery attempt and was executed with a specific target.
“Two men riding a motorbike attacked the young man standing outside Rukhnana Clinic in Shah Faisal Colony No 2,” said an official at the Shah Faisal Colony police station. Witnesses were quoted as saying that both attackers were wearing helmets and they sped away after the firing.