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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Karachi violence claims 60 lives in three days

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, July 8, IRNA -- Political and ethnic violence continued in the Pakistani port city of Karachi on Thursday, taking death toll to 60 in three days, local media reported.

Unidentified gunmen fired at a passenger van in Orangi town, killing at least two people and injuring 8 others, rescue sources and witnesses said. Seven more people were killed in incidents of firing in different areas, TV channels reported.

According to media reports, gunmen also fired on a bus at Metrol area, injuring one person. A total of 22 people were injured on Thursday.

Parts of Karachi, also Pakistan's commercial city, had been tense the whole Thursday and most of petrol stations remained closed over security concerns. Long queues of cars and motorcycles were seen on open petrol stations.

Government and private ambulance services had been busy to transfer bodies and injured to hospitals.

Reports said that there had been grenade attacks on houses and shops, forcing the people to move to safe places.

Rival ethnic groups blame each other of target attacks but police also blame criminal gangs to be behind the fresh wave of violence in Karachi.

Residents say that the police and paramilitary force have failed to check violence but provincial police chief, Wajid Durrani, said the police are trying to lay heavy hands on miscreants.

The Mutahida Qaumi Movement, MQM, the powerful ethnic group of Urdu-speaking people, Thursday held emergency meeting to review the situation. The MQM will announce decisions of the meeting but sources say it may give call for strike if violence and ‘target killing’ of its activists and supporters did not stop.

The ethnic Pashtoon group “Awami National Party’ (ANP) called for a military operation to clean the city from arms. The leader Bashir Jan said that the police and the paramilitary force ‘Rangers’ have failed to check violence and army can restore peace.

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