Life returns to normalcy in violence-hit Karachi

11:26, July 10, 2011      

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A Pakistani motorcyclist rides past the site of a burnt clothing market in southern Pakistani port city of Karachi on July 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Masroor)

Life is slowly returning to normalcy in the Pakistani port city of Karachi as paramilitary forces have taken position in affected areas and started rescuing trapped people, officials said Saturday.

Death toll from the incidents of firing and grenade attacks in five days reached 100, police sources said. Five more people were killed in overnight incident of firing, and 30 people lost their lives on Friday, the fourth day of violence.

Several stranded people told local TV channels on Saturday that they could not eat for four days as all roads had been closed and they could not go out of continued firing.

"I am taking food for my family members after four days as routes are opened now," a resident of Qasba Colony, the most affected area, told reporters.

Hundreds of families had been trapped in Qasba Colony and adjoining areas without power or water supply. Many families were willing to abandon their homes even at the risk of their properties being taken over by miscreants, but could not do so for fear of life because of the intense firing.

Paramilitary force Rangers took positions late Friday night in the most affected areas, Orangai town, Qasba Colony and Kati Pahari and started "targeted actions" detaining several people, police said.

The government of Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital, appointed new Home Minister Manzoor Wasan who said he would meet leaders of all political parties to seek their support for normalcy in Karachi.

Main markets and patrol stations, which had been closed on Friday, opened on Saturday as life returned to normalcy.

The Sindh government authorized the Rangers to exercise the powers of police officers to "use necessary force to prevent terrorist acts" as steps promised and taken hitherto failed to stop killings in Karachi.

A Rangers spokesman said that personnel of the paramilitary force had helped evacuate hundreds of people trapped in strife- torn areas.

"We are moving the families to safe places and the exercise continues. Rangers troops helped mainly people in Qasba Colony and adjoining areas," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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