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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Over 25 killed, 70 injured in pre-election violence in Pakistan's Karachi

RIA Novosti

12:30 17/10/2010

NEW DELHI, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - Over 25 people have been killed and more than 70 injured in the past twenty-four hours in Pakistan's biggest city of Karachi on the eve of by-elections for a seat in the provincial assembly, local media reported on Sunday.

The by-election to the provincial assembly is being held on Sunday after a lawmaker of Karachi's dominant Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) was killed by gunmen in August, sparkling violence that killed 100 people in a week, the media reported.

MQM's rival, the ethnic Pashtun-based Awami National Party, boycotted the by-election after complaining that the MQM would rig the poll. It also claimed that authorities had failed to provide adequate security, the media reported.

The local authorities fear that the by-election could trigger fresh ethnic and political bloodshed in Karachi, which has a long history of ethnic, religious and sectarian violence. The city was targeted by al Qaeda-linked militants after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States when Pakistan joined the U.S.-led campaign against militants.

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