KARACHI: At least three people, including a seminary student, were killed and one was critically wounded in two separate armed attacks carried out in different city areas ‘apparently on sectarian grounds’ on Saturday, officials and party sources said.

In the first incident, a 46-year-old decorator and his young worker were shot dead in Gulistan-i-Jauhar outside their shop. The area police said that four gunmen on two motorbikes opened fire on Qaiser Abbas Rizvi and Shoaib Raza while they were busy in their routine work.

“There is a decoration shop along the main road in Gulistan-i-Jauahr block 15 named Qalandaria Decoration House,” said sub-divisional police officer DSP Chan Zeb. “They were targeted by armed riders when they were busy in regular work. Both sustained multiple bullet wounds and died on way to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.”

He said Qaiser was the owner of the shop and Shoaib had been employed as a worker for the past many years. The attackers used two 9mm pistols in the attack.

“Qaiser had a history of political activism when he was associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in the past, but he was no longer active.The dual killings seemed to be linked with the current wave of targeted attacks on sectarian grounds as both victims belonged to the Shia community,” added DSP Chan.

The Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM) condemned the killings and said Qaiser was a brother-in-law of MWM spokesman Ahmer Zaidi.

“Both victims were residents of New Karachi, Sector 11-D. Qaiser Abbas was father of six,” the party said in a statement. “Shoaib was his neighbour and had been associated with Qaiser Abbas’ shop for the past many years as a worker. It’s the government’s failure that despite strong assurances, there has been not any positive change in the situation.”

A few hours later, two young students of Jamia Binoria were targeted near Guru Mandir minutes after they came out of their institute after offering Maghrib prayers.

“The two students — Atifullah and Lutfullah — who were in their 20s were targeted by two men on a motorbike near Sabeel Wali Masjid,” said the area’s SDPO DS Ali Muhammad Khosa.

“Atifufflah was hit in the head and died on the spot. Lutfullah was hit in the chest and taken to the Civil Hospital Karachi in a critical condition where he was being operated in the surgical ward.”

He said the job had been done in a typical manner which was seen in targeted attacks and the police had reason to believe that the seminary students were targeted on sectarian grounds.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2014