Unrest kills at least 35 people in south Pakistan

13:57, August 03, 2010      

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At least 35 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in south Pakistani city of Karachi overnight after gunmen shot dead a provincial assembly member, police and doctors said Tuesday.

Thirty-five people were shot dead in the violence and more than 30 vehicles were set fire, according to reports, following the killing of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) Raza Haider in the Nazimabad area on Monday evening.

There were fears that the death toll could rise.

Gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead Raza Haider, member of provincial assembly in southern Sindh province of which Karachi is the capital inside a mosque at Nazimabad neighborhood where he had gone to attend a funeral of his relative.

Haider Raza belonged to "Mutahida Qaumi Movement" (MQM), the powerful group of Urdu speaking people in Karachi.

The killed people were mostly rival ethnic Pashtoons, in different area of the city, the nationalist Awani National Party said.

Over 30 vehicles, including buses were torched by angry people, who also forced the people to shut shops. Residents said that all gas stations have also been closed down.

The Sindh government announced closure of all educational institutions in Karachi on Tuesday.

Police said that Haider's murder is the result of the series of target killings which have gripped Karachi, Pakistan's commercial city, in recent months. No group claimed responsibility for the attack and Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik formed a high level committee to start inquiry.

The police and paramilitary were put on high alter to check any untoward incident.

Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the killing of Raza Haider and ordered the concerned authorities for holding an immediate inquiry into the sad incident so that the real perpetrators could be brought to justice.

The prime minister appealed to MQM Party workers to control their emotions for foiling the nefarious designs of the miscreants who committed this heinous crime to disrupt the peace of Karachi.

Source: Xinhua


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