Friday, 8 July 2011

Karachi Burns In Sectarian Riots As Pakistani Security Forces Watch Helplessly

Incidents of violence continued in Karachi on Friday as 13 people were killed in fresh incidents of firing in Pakistan’s largest city.

The current wave of violence has brought the total number of dead to 81 in the last four days.

The violence ensued as firing continued in different parts of the city on Friday. The affected areas include Kharadar, Orangi Town and New Karachi where several people were shot dead and many wounded.

Shops and fuel stations were shut and public transport idled in Karachi on Friday after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced a day of mourning against the latest surge in violence in the country’s financial and commercial hub.

Although the MQM announced that it would stage what it said would be a peaceful protest, quashing rumours about a strike call by the party, panic gripped the city Thursday evening amid reports of violence in different parts of the city that forced closure of fuel stations and markets in several areas.

Moreover, police and paramilitary troops were ordered on Friday to shoot on sight after 70 people were killed in three days of ethnic and political violence in Karachi.

“We have issued orders to the security forces to shoot anyone involved in violence on the spot,” Sharjeel Memon, the provincial information minister, told Reuters.

courtesy AP/BBC
“In addition to the police and Rangers, another 1,000 personnel of the Frontier Constabulary will be deployed in the city to control the violence,” he said, referring to another paramilitary force.

“Thirty-seven people were killed yesterday alone,” he said.

Karachi, home to more than 18 million people, has a long history of ethnic, religious and sectarian violence.

Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who arrived here after midnight on instructions of the prime minister, told reporters at the Quaid-i-Azam International Airport: “Let me make it very clear that there is no operation planned.”

“But definitely there will be targeted actions in the affected areas and I have ordered deployment of 1,000 FC troops to enforce law in the city,” Malik said.

Also on Thursday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah presided over a meeting on the law and order situation. The meeting, attended by police and Sindh Rangers authorities, ended with shoot-at-sight orders to enforce the writ of the government.

“During the past two days we pointed out strife-torn areas and gathered intelligence,” City Police Chief Saud Mirza said on Thursday.

“Now we will definitely move against them (terrorists) with credible information in hand. I can assure you that the situation will start turning better from Friday.”

Violence in the metropolis has claimed eleven more lives till Friday morning since midnight, Geo News reported. Miscreants attacked several houses with rockets and hurled hand grenades into residential area of Baldia Town, injuring four people including a woman and a child. Terror gripped the area after the attack.

Residents of these areas took to the streets and staged protest demonstration against the attacks. They said that law enforcement agencies have failed to control law and order situation.

Meanwhile, police conducted raids in these areas and held five suspects. Police also recovered weapons and motorcycle from the miscreants.

According to police sources, one man was killed in Iqbal Market of troubled Orangi Town while one was injured.

Firing incidents also took place in Dalmia, Kharadar, Baldia Town, killing three people while a child also lost his life in the firing incident.

Two persons were shot dead in Lee Market and North Karachi areas of Karachi while one was killed in Orangi No.10.

Miscreants have also burnt eight shops of Aligarh Market in Orangi Town early on Friday morning, president of Aligarh Market told Geo News.

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