KARACHI: Two brothers were killed one after another in a suspected sectarian attack at the busy Gol Market in Nazimabad on Tuesday, police said.

The officials said Salman Shabbir, 22, was sprayed with bullets at his shop, Hyderi Spices, while his brother Asad, 20, who took shelter inside a neighbouring tailor’s shop, was chased and killed by the suspects. The tailor, Kamran, sustained a gunshot wound in a thigh in the firing, the police added.

They quoted witnesses as saying that the four suspects sped away on two motorcycles following the attack. The wounded brothers were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where doctors declared them dead on arrival.

A hospital official said Salman suffered eight gunshot wounds while Asad sustained two bullet wounds. Kamran was admitted for treatment, he said, adding that his condition was out of danger.

Liaquatabad SP Mohammed Ihsan Malik said: “The incident appeared to be targeted killing linked with sectarianism as the brothers belonged to the Shia community.”

He said the attackers used 0.9mm pistol. The police investigators seized eight spent bullet casings from the crime scene.

The officer said a Sunni shopkeeper had been killed in a suspected sectarian attack earlier. He admitted that ‘sectarian’ killings in the Gol Market had been reported in the past also and they were investigating motive of the attackers for targeting the shopkeepers.

“At least 18 people have been killed in Gol Market, Nazimabad, in the recent past,” said a spokesperson for the Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen.

The victims included four shopkeepers and six owners of the printing press, he added.

“It seems their motive is to get the market vacated by members of the Shia community,” said the MWM spokesperson.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2015

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