Karachi is once again in the grip of target killings, as 13 people have been gunned down in separate locations. The Sindh government has ordered security agencies to be on red alert, while several suspects have been arrested from various areas.
Two people including an ANP leader were killed in the vicinity of Karachi Airport by unidentified attackers.
The other killings took place in Orangi town, Banaras, Korangi town, Malir, Sohrab Goth and Nazimabad.
Later, ANP activists damaged many vehicles at the National Highway to protest the killing of their leader.
Police and Rangers have arrested several suspects from different areas in this connection.
Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza said killers of ANP’s provincial leader Ubaid-ullah Yousuf Zai will soon be caught. He also said that the arrest of culprits behind MQM leader Raza Haider’s murder was a major success.
While speaking to ANP Sindh President Shahi Syed, Mirza expressed deep sorrow over the target killing of Yousaf Zai.
He called for the ANP to remain patient as police,rangers and military forces have been placed on red alert.
Mirza added that the situation would never have worsened if all political parties were given freedom to carry out their normal functioning.
He also hinted that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and other banned organisations were involved in such murders in the past as well.
Updated from print edition (below)
ANP man’s killing opens up fresh vein for blood-letting
At least 10 people were killed and 11 injured in violence that spread after the murder of an Awami National Party (ANP) office-bearer on Thursday.
Ubaidullah Yousafzai, son of Umriz Khan, was the security in-charge of ANP Sindh and was employed as a cargo operator at the PIA Cargo Terminal. The 53-year-old was on his way to work with his 45-year-old friend, Saleem Akhtar, on Thursday when they were both gunned down within the jurisdiction of Airport police station.
According to the police, a few unidentified men in a Suzuki Cultus intercepted the victims’ car around 2:15 pm and opened indiscriminate fire. Both of them sustained multiple bullet wounds and succumbed to their injuries on their way to Jinnah hospital.
SHO Airport Abdul Gaffar Korai told The Express Tribune that Yousafzai hails from Swabi. Akhtar was the assistant administration clerk and was a resident of Malir Cantt.
As the bodies of victims were taken to Jinnah hospital, a large number of people reached the hospital morgue and shouted slogans against the killers. Enraged protesters also took to the streets and forced people to shut down business as they resorted to aerial firing in different parts of the city.
At least 10 vehicles were also torched in Sultanabad, Landhi, Shah Faisal Colony and Old Sabzi Mandi. The worst-affected areas included Abul Hassan Isphahani Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Quaidabad, Steel Town, Malir, Landhi, Korangi, Sultanabad, Banaras and Orangi Town.
Four people were injured in firing near Qasba Morr. They were taken to Civil hospital where 22-year-old Ubaid succumbed to his injuries. The remaining three victims, 25-year-old Shamshad, Asif, Fazal and Mukhtar, are believed to be in stable condition.
Meanwhile, two people were killed in firing near Fazal Flour Mills. The bodies were shifted to Jinnah hospital. SHO Awami Colony police station said that they have yet to identify the bodies but he confirmed that they were part of target killings.
In another incident, two motorcyclists shot and killed Sajid Ahmed, son of Sadiq, near Old Sabzi Mandi within the jurisdiction of PIB police station.
The Rangers also shot dead a man within the jurisdiction of Sachal Police Station. According to the police, the deceased, identified as Sharfuddin, was forcibly closing shops and started firing at the Rangers when they approached him. The police have yet to find out which party he was affiliated with.
A 60-year-old man, Anwaruddin was shot dead in Malir. His body was taken to Jinnah hospital. SHO Saudabad Izhar Hussain said that the victim was going for Maghrib prayers when unidentified motorcyclists shot him near the RCD ground. He was not affiliated with any party and may have been killed by mistake.
Two people were also killed in Baldia Town. According to the police, Sagheer was killed by unidentified men after they intercepted a bus and killed him with a sharp-edged weapon. His body was shifted to Civil hospital.
Meanwhile, a young boy was shot dead in Saeedabad Sector 19-D of Baldia Town. The police have yet to identify the boy but said that he appears to be in his teens. There were also reports of firing at Zamzama and Boat Basin that forced people to stay inside restaurants.
The chief of police could not be reached for comment but in a statement from Central Police Office, he directed the police to ensure the arrest of the culprits.
ANP’s spokesperson Abdul Malik said that the party will observe three days of mourning. “We are following the code of conduct and do not want to blame anyone,” he said.
ANP Sindh spokesman Qadir Khan said that if the killers are not arrested in 72 hours, they would be forced to announce a three-day strike and the leadership would be forced to consider leaving the government.