Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

More than 40 die in Karachi 'targeted killings' in 18 days

Eleven suspects arrested after political violence in city plagued by ethnic and sectarian killings, crime and kidnappings.

KARACHI // At least 43 people have been killed in political violence in Karachi during the past 18 days, officials said yesterday as they announced the arrest of 11 suspects.

The interior minister, Rehman Malik, said during a press conference: "We can confirm that as many as 43 people had been the victims of targeted killings in Karachi during the last 18 days."

"We have arrested 11 men suspected of involvement in the targeted killings. There is a conspiracy going on against Pakistan to destabilise it, but I can't share the evidence at the moment," he added. "Criminal elements could be almost present in all political parties and action will be taken across the board against them."

The unrest comes amid heightened tensions between the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which represents Urdu speakers originally from India, and the Awami National Party (ANP), backed by Pashto speakers from Pakistan's north-west.

The MQM and the ANP are partners in the Pakistan People's Party-led coalition that rules the southern province of Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital.

The chief minister of Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, confirmed the number of victims, saying they included members of different political groups. "Some 43 innocent people have been gunned down since March 10, which included the activists of various political parties," Mr Shah said.

Political violence in Karachi reached its highest level for years in 2010, with 85 people killed after an official was shot dead in August, and more than 70 killed in October on the eve of the vote to elect the MP's successor.

Another 17 people were shot dead in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and commercial capital, in January this year.

The city is plagued by ethnic and sectarian killings, crime and kidnappings.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National