KARACHI: At least 12 people, including four women and two children, were killed and 39 others including two policemen wounded in a violent clash between rival gangs in Karachi's Lyari area that followed the killing of a gang leader's brother, DawnNews reported.
Shiraz Zikri, the brother of Ghaffar Zikri who is a key figure of the gang war, was killed earlier during a joint operation conducted by police and Rangers’ personnel in Lyari, according to a DawnNews report.
Senior police official Faisal Bashir told AFP that the violence had erupted after one of the gangs had kidnapped a member of the other gang the night before.
“The clash erupted this morning when two gangs exchanged heavy gunfire. Later they fired RPGs and lobbed hand grenades at each other,” Bashir said.
He added that 39 people, including 15 schoolchildren, were injured.
Sporadic gunfire could still be heard from the scene , according to an AFP reporter. Police were preventing journalists from entering the area.
Continuous firing and hand grenade blasts are occurring in Jhat Pat Market and Chakiwara area
Dr Purshotum Das, a senior official at the Civil Hospital Karachi confirmed the attack and said: “We have received 12 dead bodies.”
The victims were shifted to the Lyari General Hospital and Civil hospital.
The shops and business shut down in the area as people were left confined to their homes.
The incident took place in Lyari, one of the poorest and most violent neighbourhoods of Karachi where clashes between rival gangs linked to political and ethnic groups erupt continuously.