Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Again 12 May... at least 40 Peoples killed in reaction from MQM.

KARACHI: Violence triggered by the murder of Raza Haider, a senior leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and member of the Sindh Assembly, here on Monday claimed at least 26 lives, according to officials at the police surgeon office.

(Update after the filing of this report: At least 35 persons have been killed and more than 80 have been wounded.)
Mr Haider was gunned down, along with his police guard, in the Jama Masjid in Nazimabad, where he had gone to attend the funeral of the mother of a friend.

“The number of attackers and the mode of their transport are not clear, but initial investigations suggest that there were more than two people who came on a motorcycle and they were probably backed by armed men in a car,” said an officer at the Nazimabad police station.

“They first shot at the legislator’s guard Khalid Khan and then entered the mosque and fired at Mr Haider who was in the ablution room.”

Both of them were hit by two bullets fired from a close range. The bullets hit them in the head and on the upper part of the body. Police said that AK-47 rifle and 9mm pistol were used in the attack and the spent bullets were found at the scene.

As the bodies were taken to the Abbassi Shaheed Hospital, the city descended into near anarchy.

Scattered violence, including arson attacks and intense firing, in different areas claimed at least 26 lives.

Over 20 vehicles and a number of restaurants and shops were set on fire.

The Jinnah Postgraduate and Medical Centre received 13 bodies and Civil Hospital and Abbassi Shaheed Hospital two each. The other bodies were taken to different hospitals in the city. Some of the injured died in hospitals.

The city police chief set up a team, headed by DIG West Sultan Khawaja and comprising three SSPs, to investigate the murder.

Capital City Police Officer Waseem Ahmed said Mr Haider had been under threat and he had been provided adequate security.

“Six police guards, including four at his residence, were at the legislator’s service,” he said. “We have approached the leadership of political parties to get the situation normalised and planned adequate security for Tuesday’s funeral of the MPA.”

The MQM leadership came up with serious allegations against the Awami National Party, an ally in the PPP-led coalition government in Sindh.

Faisal Hussain Sabzwari, MQM’s deputy parliamentary leader in the Sindh assembly, said the ANP leadership was in nexus with extremist elements and mafias.

“Arrests of a number of targeted-killing suspects and extremist elements from their (ANP) strongholds are indicators of fault lines,” he added.

The murder of the legislator also sparked violent protests in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas.

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