At least eight people were killed in yet another flash of the gang war in Lyari. A few armed rioters also attacked Baghdadi Police Station with guns and hand grenades.
The situation in Lyari initially became tense three days ago when the decomposed body of Allah Buksh, associated with the Ghaffar Zikri group, was found in Eidu Lane. Even though the next three days were peaceful, Lyari residents saw blood shed when unidentified men ambushed the Lyari Peace Committee’s (LPC) office in the same area late Tuesday.
The killing spree started when the Ghaffar Zikri group alleged that Buksh, alias Allo, was killed by the Baba Ladla group, who retaliated by attacking the committee’s office.
Two middle-aged men, Saqib Pathan and Shah Jehan, sustained bullet wounds in the resulting ambush and died before they reached the hospital. The two men belonged to the Shaid Rehman group, which is close to the LPC.
The entire area resonated with gunshots as battles took place in Ahmed Shah Bukhari Road, Kamila Stop, Maulvi Road, Chakiwara, Kala Kot and Bughdai areas.
At least six people were gunned down during the first phase of the battles while four others sustained bullet wounds and were taken to Civil Hospital, Karachi.
Senior medico-legal officer Civil hospital Dr Aftab Chunar
confirmed that four men were brought dead to the hospital while one of them succumbed to his injuries.
Dr Noor Ahmad, duty officer at Civil hospital, said that unidentified suspects shot at the victims from a short range.
Residents said that bodies of two men could not reach Civil hospital as their families buried them in the local graveyard once their deaths were confirmed.
The victims were later identified as Kamal, Shah Jahan, Saqib Ali, Abdul Aziz, Shahid, Rashid Bengali and Shah Husain.
According to police officials, all victims died during the 18-hour-long battle between the Ghaffar Zikri group and the Baba Ladla group. DIG Police South Zone Iqbal Mehmood informed the media that the police have started a door-to-door search operation, claiming that they have conducted a raid on the house of Ghaffar Zikri.
Ranger officials informed The Express Tribune that they have arrested two people who were involved in this gang war. They also added that a thorough operation will be carried out in Lyari on Wednesday night.
Routine life and commercial activities in Lyari remained suspended while the battle lasted. Resident Zubair Baloch said that their lives have been disturbed and no one knows what will happen tomorrow.
A member of the Ghaffar Zikri group, Majid, told The Express Tribune that both parties had suffered in the war, adding that innocent people have been killed in the attacks.
The gang war that started in 2003 between the Dakait and Pappu groups has claimed over 2,000 lives so far. DIG South said that over 50 police and Rangers vans have been sent to the area while 14 armoured vehicles from the police and four from Pakistan Rangers are also present to control the situation.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2010.