KARACHI: As Karachi shut down in mourning for the victims of Tuesday’s violence, at least 11 people lost their lives on Wednesday and target killings, coupled with scattered incidents of arson, let fear rule in the city for the second day.
Armed men ruled streets in the eastern parts of the city an shot at hapless people at will. On the other hand the administration struggled to come up with a strategy to take on the terrorists. One of the options being considered was launch of secret operations in selected areas after imposing curfew. Officials said they were still awaiting a nod from the provincial authorities to implement the plans, but the proposals failed to deter armed men who went about taking lives with impunity.
In the wee hours of the day, firing outside a camp of flood-affected people killed two and left one injured in Gulzar Colony, along the Malir river. The deceased, 43-year-old Mauj Ali Chachar and 37-year-old Lal Bux, hailed from Shikarpur and Ghotki respectively.
A few minutes later, armed men on a motorcycle attacked a group of friends sitting along a street in Shamsi Housing Society, killing 28-year-old Talah Razzaq.
Minutes after sunrise, police in Hussainabad, Federal B. Area, found a bag stuffed with the body of 25-year-old Iqbal Hussain, a labourer of Bangoria Goth.
In Malir, teenager Mohammad Khursheed sustained a fatal bullet wound when a group of people protesting against the kidnapping of a local youth came under an armed attack.
The body of the kidnapped Mohammad Arif was also found after sunset in Al Falah area with multiple bullet wounds.
In Baldia Town, 45-year-old labourer Nazeer Hashim was shot dead in the morning when he was repairing the suction pump outside his home in Gulshan-i-Ghazi in the morning.
The body of Siddiq Baloch, 35, with sever torture marks was found in a nullah near his home in Wali Mohammad Goth, Bin Qasim Town.
In Lyari, an employee of the fisheries department, Zar Khan, 37, was killed near Shah Waliullah Road when he was returning home in Niazi Muhallah.
In Sukkun area, motorcyclists shot dead Saifur Rahman, 45. He owned a general store and hailed from Battagram district.
In Garden area, 19-year-old Faiz Gul Mohammad was shot dead on Siddiq Wahab Road when he was going to his home in Lyari.
The daylong violence also left at least 13 people injured. Most of them were taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and the Civil Hospital.
A water tanker, a bus and six shops were set on fire in New Karachi, Landhi and Malir.
The authorities ruled out handing over the city to the army even though police and Rangers seemed reluctant to move in.
“Search operations in different areas under curfew is one of several options being discussed,” Sindh Home Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan told reporters after chairing a meeting of police and Rangers to prepare a security strategy.
“The police and Rangers personnel are capable of conducting such an operation and there is no likelihood of calling out the army.”
Launching of a search operation is subject to approval by the chief minister.
MQM CALL: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) repeated its demand for action against people involved in the recent wave of violence.
“It is the foremost responsibility of the government to unearth the perpetrators,” Dr Farooq Sattar, a federal minister and deputy convener of the MQM’s coordination committee, said at a press conference. “The recent bloodshed in Karachi, including the Shershah scrap market carnage, reflects a conspiracy against the city’s peace.”