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17 killed, 24 injured in violence in Karachi

July 06, 2011 09:52 IST

Violence has flared up again in Pakistan's biggest city and financial hub with about 17 people being killed and over 24 wounded in the last 24 hours.

The worst affected area was again the city's hottest flashpoint, Orangi Town where violence was reported on Tuesday from several localities in which 11 people were shot dead and dozens sustained gun shot injuries.

Orangi Suprintendent of Police Khurram Waris said six people were killed and 10 injured.

The fresh bout of violence forced the provincial government to again impose a ban on pillion riding on the motorcycles as most of the killings were unleashed in drive-by shootings.

Violence broke out in Orangi after armed men attacked a Awami National Party's (ANP) official, Rahim Khan Swati in Qasba Colony.

A spokesperson of the party said that Swati was shot at least five times and was taken to a private hospital, where doctors say he was stable.

Following this, residents claimed that dozens of armed men took positions at the hilltops in the surrounding areas dominated by Pashtuns and began shooting at everyone in sight.

The indiscriminate firing left over a dozen people injured, later four of them succumbed to their injuries on the way to hospital. An attack on a bus in the same area left two persons dead and three injured.

Roads linking Orangi town to the city such as Katti Pahari, Banaras and Qasba colony were blocked by men as were other entry and exit routes.

Orangi Suprintendent of Police Waris claimed that two suspects each from the ANP and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement have been apprehended and said more arrests were underway.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that atleast 32 people died in just three days as a result of the fighting between the ANP and MQM that represents the Urdu speaking refugees from India.

"June was the most dangerous month in Karachi," said HRCP chairperson, Zohra Yusuf, at their regular media briefing.

"Of the 1,138 people who died this year, 490 were targeted. The MQM sustained the highest casualties with 77 activists. The ANP comes in at a distant second with 29 dead and the Pakistan Peoples Party lost 26 men," Yusuf said.

Among those targeted and killed, 250 were not affiliated with political parties, 184 were political activists and 19 were members of religious parties. 56 of the killings were based on ethnicity, she said.

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