KARACHI: At least 200 people were arrested as police powers were restored to the rangers in Karachi in a bid to stem the fresh wave of target killings in the city.
The powers were restored under the Anti Terrorism Act of 1997.
The decision was taken after an emergency meeting between the Sindh home minister, IG, DG rangers, CCPO and DIGs in an effort to halt the violence from escalating.
The extended powers given to the rangers is only valid within the City District of Karachi.
The killings were sparked on Wednesday after an Awami National Party (ANP) worker was killed in Saddar after returning from a demonstration. Since then, 23 people were killed in different target killing incidents.
A wave of violence engulfed the city, forcing markets and shops to close down. Protests erupted in different areas causing troubles to the commuters as the protesters burnt tyres and vehicles.
Meanwhile, talking to the media in Karachi, Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza said that the rangers have been given permission to conduct raids and set up checkpoints to conduct snap-checking.
Riots erupt in Sultanabad
Riots have erupted in Sultanabad in protest of the target killings that claimed 23 lives since Wednesday. Protesters attacked police vehicles with stones, prompting the police to fire teargas.
The rangers who have been given additional powers were called in to assist in calming the protesters and twelve protesters were arrested.
Sultanabad is a stronghold of the Awami National Party (ANP), which has appealed to the government to investigate the killings.