Archive for August 5th, 2010

Toll in Karachi Riots Rises to 73

As Reported by Sify News

The toll in the violence that broke out in the Pakistani port city of Karachi following the murder of a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) legislator rose to 73 on Wednesday, with shootouts continuing through the night.

At least 153 injured were brought to various city hospitals in last two days after the riots triggered by the murder of MQM leader and member of Sindh assembly, Raza Haider.

The most violent areas of the city for the third day running were Isa Nagri, Quaidabad, Malir, Machar Colony, Pirabad, Orangi Town and Qasba Colony, amongst others.

Mobs torched more than 50 vehicles and set several shops and fuel stations on fire. The city roads wore a deserted look for the second day Wednesday as the residents remained hesitant to step out. Though educational institutions and offices opened but attendance remained thin.

Federal Urdu University and Karachi University cancelled their scheduled examinations.

Firing and violence were also reported from Hyderabad, Sukhur, Mirpur Khas and other areas of interior Sindh. More than 100 suspects have been taken into custody by law enforcement agencies on various charges.

Police sources suspected the involvement of banned terrorist outfit Jindullah in the killing of Haider. The sketch of the attackers had been finalised with the help of an eyewitness, sources said.

Raza was shot dead by unidentified gunmen Monday in Nazimabad where he had gone to attend a funeral. A ten-member investigation team, headed by DIG Sultan Khwaja, is probing the case and collecting evidence.

Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said that banned outfits like Sipah-i-Sahaba and Tehreek-i-Taliban were involved in the incident.

Dunya TV had reported that security agencies were in the know for more than a year that Raza and two other MQM leaders were on the hit list of terrorists.

The MQM leadership has openly held the Awami National Party responsible for Raza’s murder. The charge has been categorically denied by the ANP leadership, which has demanded a thorough probe to bring the culprits to book.

Both parties have remained fiercely engaged in a political tangle spanned over several decades for control over Karachi, which is Pakistan’s largest city and financial hub. Target killings have claimed more than 1,500 lives in the city over the last two years or so.

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