A 7-year-old boy was shot dead and one minor girl and three women were among 20 injured as several localities in Karachi reverberated with gunshots on New Year's Eve.

Revelers firing in the air at the turn of midnight Saturday to 'welcome' in the new year were responsible for the deaths and injuries, police officials said.

The boy, Subhan, was hit by a stray bullet near the Ayesha Manzil area of Azizabad. A police official said Subhan had been travelling with his father, Irfan, on a motorbike when unknown people resorted to aerial firing around 12am.

He sustained bullet wounds to his head and was transported to a private hospital in Nazimabad where he succumbed to injuries on Sunday during treatment.

In other incidents spread over several localities, at least 20 more people sustained bullet wounds, police and hospital sources said.

“We received 10 people with bullet injuries from various areas,” said Dr Seemin Jamali, executive director of the Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre.

Among the injured were 7-year-old Arba and three other female victims, Dr Jamali said. Arba had received bullet injuries in the Liaquatabad area.

Her condition was critical as she had been struck in her abdomen. She has been referred to the National Institute of Child Health for further treatment, added Dr Jamali.

Among the three injured women, the condition of Afshan, 30, was serious as she too had received bullet wounds on her abdomen in the Jacob Lines area.

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