A man weeps over the death of his relative in a firing incident in Sher Shah, Karachi on Tuesday.
Violence continued in Karachi for a third day on Tuesday, with at least 30 people killed in different attacks, including 13 in one incident. At least 58 people have been killed in Karachi since Saturday when violence erupted ahead of a by-election to replace a provincial lawmaker murdered in August.Thirteen people, including a father and his two sons, died after gunmen launched a daring attack on bystanders and shopkeepers in the Sher Shah spare parts market.
Senior police official Naveed Khawaja said unknown gunmen riding motorcycles opened fire in the
Sher Shah area. Thirteen people were killed and 10 injured in the incident, said Hashim Raza, health secretary of Sindh.The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which has already stepped up pressure on the government to stem violence, announced one day morning on Wednesday (today). The MQM says most of those killed were its workers.
The recent killings come on the heels an assurance given by the Presidency to Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad the other day that the federal government would take concrete steps to quell the violence. But the fresh target killings once again put the MQM-PPP coalition in Sindh at risk. MQM’s Coordination Committee held simultaneous meetings in London and Karachi and came down harsh on the government for its alleged inability to stop violence. MQM chief Altaf Hussain expressed extreme sorrow and grief over the dastardly killings. “It seems there is no such thing as government in the city and the city has been left to the mercy of remorseless killers who are striking at their will in the city,” the MQM chief said in a statement from London. “The government has failed miserably in protecting the life of property of the citizens and terrorists are on a rampage on the streets of Karachi,” he added.
Altaf said he was greatly shocked by the killings of innocent people in Sher Shah market. He appealed to the people to observe a day of peaceful mourning on Wednesday and organise recitation of the Holy Quran. He also condoled with the families of the people who lost their lives and prayed for the early recovery of the injured. Other leaders of the MQM such as Haider Abbas Rizvi and Babar Ghauri also warned that the shaky alliance with the PPP was at risk. “The time of promises and assurances has past. The MQM Co-Ordination Committee in London and Karachi are mulling partying ways with the PPP, as we have had enough of workers killed…..how long we can continue collecting the bodies of our workers; we are tired,” said Babar Ghauri.
The move, which party sources say was put "on hold" on assurances of strong action to contain the violence, could lead to the government losing its National Assembly majority, or even its downfall if the MQM sides with the opposition.Rizvi called strict action against the Inspector General Sindh and the Karachi District Police Chief, or the city police chief.
At least six unidentified armed men riding three motorbikes, opened indiscriminate fire in Kabari Market in Sher Shah area, killing at least 12 people including shopkeepers and shoppers.Eyewitnesses said the miscreants, wearing helmets, went on firing spree for five minutes, triggering the panicked people to break up in stampede.
The saboteurs fled the scene effortlessly.Seven people were killed in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, North Nazimabad, Malir City, Baldia, Orangi Town, Garden and Arambagh, near Radio Pakistan and Landhi.Earlier in the day, nine people were either shot dead or found dead from different localities. Two deaths were reported in Orangi Town, two in Ranchore Lanes, two in Baldia Town, two in Malir City and one in Landhi.
Another person was also killed in Malir City and remained unidentified till the filing of this report. Also three people were shot dead near Radio Pakistan by unknown gunmen but remained unidentified. Another man was killed in Iqbal Market in Saddar during the day.The injured were shifted to hospitals, where emergency declared, with more medical staff called on duty.
According to sources, arriving late on the mishap site, the personnel of police and the Rangers put a security cordon around the Market.But the contingents of police and Rangers were soon pelted with stones by enraged protestors, who said that when the firing started, the first to escape the attack were two police mobiles parked close by.
Also on Tuesday, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, while taking notice of deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi, appealed to all groups to sit together to defeat anti-peace elements. The prime minister contacted Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad, chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, interior minister Rehman Malik and provincial home minister Zulfiqar Mirza on the telephone in connection with the Karachi situation and directed them to ensure law and order.
The PM also exchanged views with MQM leader Farooq Sattar on the telephone with reference to the prevailing situation. He appealed to the people of Karachi to demonstrate patience, identify the anti-social elements and cooperate with the government in elimination of these elements.
Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad on Tuesday night held discussions with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik over the situation in Karachi. The President ordered an immediate action against killings, sources said. MQM sources said that the Governor stressed the federal government once again to take emergent steps to control lawlessness in Karachi, as “the killings are part of a deep-rooted conspiracy against the country”.
Another report said Provincial Home Minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza has directed IG Sindh to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the incident of firing in Sher Shah market and submit its report immediately.According to a statement issued here on Tuesday, the minister directed Police and Rangers to ensure the enforcement of Section 144 in the city to save the life and property of people.Meanwhile, the All Karachi Tajir Ittehad announced that markets will remain closed to mourn the Sher Shah attack.
List of slain identified till late night
Anis Ahmed son of Abbas Ahmed, Umair Ahmed son Anis Ahmed, Zubair Ahmed son of Anis Ahmed, Tariq Amin son of Karim ,Baksh, Amjad Ali son of Aashiq Ali, Mansoor Ahmed son of Manzoor Ahmed, Kashif son of Rafique, Nasir Hussain son of Talib Hussain, Two unknown, Zeeshan Ahmed son of Irshaad Ahmed,Hakim Hussain son of Abdul Rehman, Arsalan son of Qamar, Hameed Sarbazi son of Dushamba Baloch, Unknown, Ubaidullah son of Azizullah
Jan Nawaz Zikri Baloch son of Ali Ahmed Baloch, Abid Baloch son of Pir Baloch, Saleem Baloch son of Shafi Baloch, Nawaz Khaskheli s/o Mohammad Ahmed, Muhammad Akram son of Khudadad, Abdul Khaliq son of Muhammad Sadiq, Jamaluddin son of Bismillah Khan, Naseer