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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan port city violence claims 5 more lives

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 3, IRNA -- A local leader of ruling Pakistan People Party (PPP) and four other people have been killed in firing in the violence-hit port city of Karachi, police said.

President Asif Ali Zardari was in Karachi and presided over a high level meeting on the law and order problem, which has paralyzed the life of ordinary citizens in the city, Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

Police said that a local leader of the PPP, Hasan Soomro was shot dead by unidentified gunmen at Lyari area of the city.

Earlier a PPP activist Hasan Baloch and another man were killed and over 20 injured, including five policemen, during clashes in the same area, which is a stronghold of the PPP in the multi-ethnic city and also the commercial hub of Pakistan.

The demonstrators were protesting against the killing of another man allegedly in a police encounter in Lyari late Sunday. The slain man was member of the banned Peoples Amn (Peace) Committee.

Hide and seek between the police and angry residents of Liyari had been continued for the whole day and there was a report of three hand grenades being thrown and a rocket fired at policemen. The police also returned fired and forced the protestors to retreat for a while.

The protestors alleged that the slain man was kidnapped by officials of the Police Crime Investigation Department. However, police said that Baloch was a gangster of the area and was also wanted by police in many criminal cases.

Sporadic incidents of firing were reported from the Lea Market, Cheel Chowk, Tanga Stand and Baghdadi areas of Lyari. Armed men had been firing at the police from on top of buildings and in the streets, residents and local media reported.

In separate incidents, unidentified men in the Lasbela Chowk and Nishter Road areas opened fire and forced shops in the area to shut down.

Karachi has been in the grip of political, ethnic and sectarian violence over the past few days, which claimed scores of people, including political activists.

In view of the deteriorated law and order situation, President Asif Ali Zardari, presided over a meeting in Karachi on Monday and called for zero tolerance to all street crimes and zero tolerance to extortion in Karachi which he said had paralyzed the life of ordinary citizens in the city, presidential spokesman said.

The President also directed to equip the police with aerial patrolling equipment as well as heavy duty armored personnel carriers (APCs) and the geo fencing of localities infested with criminal elements, he said.

The President said that a scientific study should be carried out about the nature of each crime committed whether it was related to sectarianism, extremism, land grabbing, street crimes, targeted killing, political rivalries and migration from other areas of the country. This will help in devising strategies for combating each category of crime along scientific lines, he said.

President Zardari said that the paramilitary Rangers had already been entrusted with special powers and called for greater coordination between law enforcing agencies and the intelligence agencies, the spokesman said.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80060197

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