KARACHI, May 4: The simmering tension between supposed political rivals in the Landhi area took an ugly turn on Saturday when a man was shot dead and four other persons were wounded, police and party sources said.

Clashes between the two rival groups started on Friday when the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-H) chief tried to launch an electoral campaign there and continued into the second day, causing suspension of commercial activities in certain parts of Landhi.

It prompted the law-enforcement agencies to start a ‘search operation’ there to calm the situation.

“Yes, there was tension in the locality but murder and injuries took place in localities different from the ones where the clashes occurred,” said SSP-East Imran Shaukat.

He said the most disturbed areas of Landhi were 80 and 81, where firing was resorted to by the groups but the killing took place in the 5-C area of Landhi, which was far away from the place of violence. However, he said four persons sustained bullet wounds in different areas.

“The police moved into the area to carry out a search operation in which ‘several persons’ were detained for interrogation,” said the SSP. He said he believed that the situation was controlled after the operation.

The Landhi police said that nine persons were detained and TT pistols were seized from them.

Landhi-DSP Muhammad Ahmed Beg told Dawn that the two political rivals, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the MQM-H, started firing in the area, increasing fear among the residents.

He said he believed that one person was killed and another wounded in ‘crossfire’.

The wounded were rushed to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where Fahim, 35, son of Muhammad Shafiq, died while Faisal Mehmood was admitted for treatment.

The DSP claimed that the victims were passersby.

However, MQM-H spokesperson Khalid Hameed said that Fahim was a member of their party’s Korangi sector committee. He accused the police of playing a partisan role in Landhi.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement candidate from NA-255 Asif Hasnain alleged that the Rangers were not providing equal opportunities to every candidate to run their election campaigns. “On the pretext of providing security to Afaq Ahmed, the Rangers and police are backing terrorists who had attacked, ransacked and torched my election office yesterday and today. They are harassing our voters by their so-called house-to-house search operations. It is their responsibility to restore peace but they are allowing terrorists to cause a breakdown of law and order. I have informed the returning officer of every detail. We are not being allowed to run our election campaign.”

MQM man shot dead A Muttahida Qaumi Movement worker was gunned down in Korangi, police said.

They said Wali Muhammad aka Bhola, 32, son of Nabi Bakhsh, was standing in front of his home in Sector 32/2 when gunmen opened fire on him. He received a single bullet on the head and was taken to the JPMC, where doctors pronounced him dead.

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