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Death toll in target killings in Karachi rises to 23

05-20-2010 12:21 BJT

KARACHI, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of target killings in south Pakistan's port city of Karachi rose to 23, police sources said Thursday.

Violence enveloped the city on Wednesday as a fresh wave of politico-ethnic target killings claimed at least 23 lives, police said.

Earlier police said that unidentified people shot dead 15 people in different parts of Karachi, the country's biggest city with several ethnic communities.

According to reports, the latest bout of violence has prompted the authorities to hand over the task of maintaining law-and-order to the Pakistan Rangers, under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

Miscreants also torched vehicles in the city of some 14 million people, police and witnesses said. They said that shopkeepers closed down shops in panic.

Police said that violence increased in the city after a Tuesday ' s killing of a person at Shah Faisal Colony neighbhorhood near a police station. Three others were also killed in targeted killings, police said.

Violence erupted on Wednesday in the morning when unidentified gunmen killed one person in the Gulistan Jauhar area of the city.

Police said that gunmen resorted to firing at Landhi, Korangi, Orangi, North Nazimabad, Sher Shah, Malir, Quaid Abad, and Qasba Colony areas. Some 12 people were also injured in firing incidents, they said.

Police said that miscreants from land and drug mafia with the backing of political elements are involved in the violence.

Chief Minister of Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital, and the governor Wednesday called for calm but incidents of firing continued in several parts of the city till late night, witnesses said.

Karachi has seen targeted and ethnic violence in the past as several ethnic communities are settled in Karachi, including Pashtuns, Punjabis, Sindhis and Urdu speaking Mujahir who migrated from India after partition of the subcontinent in 1947.

In January and February some 40 people were killed and dozens others were injured in ethnic violence, taking death toll from violence to 90 this year, according to police data.

In 2008, up to 424 people were killed in Karachi in ethnic violence.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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