Armed attacks kill JUI-S leader, ExpressNews workers in Karachi

Published January 17, 2014
A plain-clothes policeman looks at a bullet-riddled vehicle of a senior party leader Usman Yar Khan of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, a religious party headed by Samiul Haq, after an attack by gunmen at a police station in Karachi on January 17, 214. — Photo by AFP
A plain-clothes policeman looks at a bullet-riddled vehicle of a senior party leader Usman Yar Khan of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, a religious party headed by Samiul Haq, after an attack by gunmen at a police station in Karachi on January 17, 214. — Photo by AFP
Family members of religious clerics mourn at a local hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. — Photo by AP
Family members of religious clerics mourn at a local hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. — Photo by AP
A brother of a slain religious cleric cries at a local hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. — Photo by AP
A brother of a slain religious cleric cries at a local hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. — Photo by AP
Security officials inspect a DSNG (digital satellite news gathering) vehicle of a private news channel following an attack by gunmen in Karachi late on January 17, 2014. — Photo by AFP
Security officials inspect a DSNG (digital satellite news gathering) vehicle of a private news channel following an attack by gunmen in Karachi late on January 17, 2014. — Photo by AFP
Family members mourn the deaths of local news channel employees at a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. — Photo by AP
Family members mourn the deaths of local news channel employees at a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. — Photo by AP

KARACHI: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Samiul Haq (JUI-S) leader Mufti Usman Yar Khan, along with his driver and a personal guard, was gunned down by unknown miscreants on Karachi’s Sharae Faisal, while a separate attack killed three people who worked for ExpressNews television channel Friday night, DawnNews reported.

Police said another person was injured in the attack on Mufti Usman that took place near Awami Makaz.

A spokesman for Karachi police said attackers sprayed bullets on the car of the provincial deputy chief of JUI-S, a religious party headed by Samiul Haq known in the West as “father of the Taliban”.

“The gunmen fled away after the shooting and the injured were shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) where Usman Khan and two of his associates died while a third is in critical condition” he said.

Dr Seemi Jamali, an official at Jinnah Hospital, confirmed the casualties saying all four people were shot in the chest.

Attackers fled away from the crime scene. An initial investigation into the incident has been launched by the police.

In a separate incident, at least three ExpressNews workers were killed when unidentified attackers opened fire on a DSNG (digital satellite news gathering) vehicle near Matric Board Office in Nazimabad.

“Three people were killed when gunmen attacked the DSNG of the privately run ExpressNews in the western district of the city," police chief for the western district Javaid Odho told AFP.

“The dead included a technician, the driver and a guard,” he added.

Meanwhile, claiming responsibility of the attack, former TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told Dawn.com that ExpressNews was targeted for biased reporting against Taliban. He said despite repeated warnings, the news organisation failed to present the point of view of Taliban.

ExpressNews has been targeted by terrorists in the past as well. At least three people, including a private guard, were injured in an attack by unidentified miscreants on the building of Express media group in December last year.

Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said last month that Pakistan was among the world's five deadliest countries for the media in its annual round-up of press freedom violations.

Rangers are currently taking part in a joint operation with police in Karachi aimed at cleansing the city of terrorists and other hardcore criminals including hired killers, gun runners and drug peddlers.

Karachi, a city of 18 million people which contributes 42 per cent of Pakistan's GDP, has been plagued by sectarian, ethnic and political violence for years.

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