KARACHI: Two young brothers were shot dead in a suspected sectarian attack in Nazimabad on Thursday, police said.

The officials added that Shakir Ali and his young brother, Zulfiqar Ali, were travelling in a rickshaw when four armed men riding two motorcycles fired at them in Nazimabad 1 at around 11am. “Shakir sustained multiple bullet wounds and fell down while Zulfiqar abandoned the rickshaw in an attempt to escape, but the suspects chased and attacked him in a street,” said Nazimabad SHO Ejaz Lodhi.

He added that the brothers were taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where doctors pronounced them dead on arrival.

Shakir sustained six bullet wounds while Zulfiqar suffered a gunshot wound in the chest, the SHO said.

“It appears to be an act of sectarian violence,” said the SHO.

Shakir was an employee of K-Electric and Zulfiqar, a private university student.

They hailed from Jhang, Punjab, and were living in a rented house in Mujahid Colony, Nazimabad. They were on their way to Malir to get another home on rent when they were attacked, the police officer said.

The victims’ bodies were being sent to Jhang for burial, said a spokesperson for the Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen. Condemning the murder, MWM leader Allama Baqar Zaidi said over 120 people belonging to the Shia community, including scholars, doctors, traders, bankers, lawyers and engineers, had been murdered since the beginning of the ongoing ‘targeted operation’ in Karachi.

He was speaking at a press conference in the Pak Muharram Hall.

Only a couple of days back, the MWM had announced that Friday would be observed as a day of protest against the “ongoing Shia genocide” in the country.

Allama Zaidi said the PML-N government had surrendered to “Saudi monarchy for $1.5 billion” and they were protecting militant groups in the name of talks instead of launching a military operation against them.

“Provincial governments are emulating the federal government and they too take no action to eliminate terrorists,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2014

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