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Pakistani ethnic leader shot dead in Karachi

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 11, IRNA -- Unidentified gunmen shot dead a central leader of an opposition ethnic group in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi on Monday, police said.

Akhar Hussain, central leader of Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-Haqiqi), and another leader of the group, died when gunmen, riding two motorcycles, opened fire on their car at Tariq Road locality in the city, police officer Amir Farooqi said.

The assailants fled after the attack. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two other persons in the car and two passers by were injured who were shifted to hospital.

Farooqi said that the slain men were coming from meeting the group’s detained leaders at a Karachi prison.

The MQM-Haqiqi is a splinter group of the powerful Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the Urdu-speaking ethnic group. They have migrated from India after creation of Pakistan in 1947.

The MQM-Haqiqi and Mutahida Qaumi Movement have been bitter rivals ever since the former faction split from the main party in the ‘90s.

The Muttahida retained its position as the main voice of the Urdu-speaking people with majority parliamentary seats in Karachi and Hyderabad, another major city in southern Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital.

Karachi has been in the grip of sectarian and political violence in recent months, claiming many lives. Rival groups blame each other for targeted killings in the city of some 18 million people.

Interior Minister Rahman Malik said Monday that political parties are not involved in targeted killings and that land grabber and drug mafia are behind the violence in Karachi, also the commercial center of the country.

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