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KARACHI: At least 25 people were killed and over 40 others injured in a fresh wave of ethnic violence in different parts of Karachi on Wednesday. About 20 vehicles were torched.
Tension and panic gripped parts of the city as unidentified attackers went on a shooting spree, killing most of the victims at point-blank range.
City police chief Wasim Ahmed told Dawn that 20 people had been killed in the violence across the city, including ‘16 Pathans and three Urdu-speaking people’.
Police said that the trouble began early in the morning when armed men who had taken position on the hills in North Karachi fired volleys of bullets upon Zarina Colony, a shanty town in the foothills. A worker of the Muttahida Quami Movement was killed at around 10.30am when he came under fire.
Police said that a sub-inspector and a constable were shot and wounded when law-enforcement personnel went to fetch the body.
The SP of North Karachi, Dr Farooq Ahmed, told Dawn that police and Rangers returned fire, forcing the gunmen to retreat. ‘Later, police and Rangers conducted a siege and search operation on the hills, arrested 16 people and seized some weapons,’ he added.
Witnesses said that special commandos from Rangers also reached the troubled hills and flushed the armed men out of the area. They said a Rangers man was shot and wounded in the action.
Most of the violent incidents took place in Khawaja Ajmair Nagri, Surjani Town and New Karachi Industrial Area. The violence-hit areas wore a deserted look as shopkeepers pulled down their shutters and vehicular traffic disappeared.
An MQM worker was shot dead in Shah Faisal Colony. His body was first taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and then to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for post-mortem.
Police surgeon Dr Hamid Padhiar told Dawn that 12 people were brought dead to the Abbasi Hospital. ‘Five bodies were later shifted to the JPMC,’ he added.
The director at the emergency centre of JPMC, Dr Seemin Jamali, told Dawn that 11 bodies and 18 wounded people were brought to the hospital. ‘Four wounded victims later died,’ she added.
Civil Hospital’s medico-legal officer Dr Sarwat Channa said that a man was brought dead from North Nazimabad and another man from Teen Hatti.
‘A man with a bullet wound was brought to the facility from Gulistan-i-Jauhar,’ he added. Vehicles were torched in North Karachi, Landhi, Malir and Al-Fallah.
The dead were identified as Zahoor Shah, Sanubar Khan, Din Mohammed, Javed, Jalil, Amjad, Mehmood, Shahid, Juma Khan, Sanwal, Dost Ali, Jameel, Sarfaraz, Khalid, Shah Khalid and Hanif.
Sources said that two bullet-riddled bodies were found at a post office in Sachal area. The bodies were taken to the JPMC late in the night.
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