KARACHI: A pre-dawn gun attack on Tuesday left four young social media influencers, including a woman, dead in the Garden area where they were roaming and filming themselves apparently for their TikTok followers, officials said.
The incident remains a mystery for investigators, who were not sure about the exact motive behind the deadly attack but are considering the possibility that some personal enmity may be behind the killings.
They said they gathered initial information through mobile phone records of the victims which suggested they were on a planned road trip and nothing emerged suspicious from their phone record.
“The victims are identified as Amir, Saddam, Rehan and Muskan. They [the male victims] were in their mid-20s and lived in Baldia Town,” said an official at the Nabi Bux police station. “The woman, 33, was a known TikTok influencer having over half a million followers. She lived in Landhi. All of them originally hailed from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”
Police suspect some personal enmity as the likely motive for the killing
The official said that the woman’s body was found inside a car’s passenger seat while the remaining three bodies were lying outside. They were all shot from a very close range. The police have also found spent bullet casings from the crime scene.
Hours after the incident the body of the woman remained unclaimed as no one came to the police or visited the hospital.
“Our initial findings suggest that Muskan and Amir were friends,” said SSP-City Sarfaraz Nawaz Sheikh. “Their call records show Muskan called Amir on Monday night for a meeting later the same night. Amir brought his friends Rehan and Saddam in a car. Their phones showed recording of videos before the firing incident and they spent a few hours in different parts of the city. They were attacked by unknown armed men near Anklesaria Hospital at around 4.48am.”
He said all the four victims were known social media influencers and the woman was quite popular among young TikTok users. He said the male victims were identified within a couple of hours of the incident and their families approached the police for their bodies.
“Victims Rehan and Saddam had a criminal record,” said the SSP. “They were recently booked in a case pertaining to aerial firing and one of them was also found involved in gambling and drugs. The motive and people behind the killings is not known yet but there are strong possibilities of some personal enmity that led to such an attack.”
He said the incident took place at a desolate place and the police had not found any eyewitness to the crime.
He said police were collecting facts and other evidence to set the course of the investigation.
Headway in Boat Basin double murder
Meanwhile, investigators made some headway in the investigation of the murder of a young man and woman, who were shot dead in Boat Basin late on Monday night.
“The victims have been identified as Adnan and Ainee,” said an official. “They both lived in Hijrat Colony. Ainee was married but Adnan was single and he worked as a waiter in a restaurant. He originally hailed from Kohat.”
The official said that the woman’s husband was missing since Monday night and his mobile phone was also powered off. The victims were targeted in a street near Boat Basin when they were going somewhere on a motorbike. “The CCTV footage found from one of the area houses showed the bike was being followed by a four-wheeler minutes before the firing incident.”
The incident, the official said, seemed to be linked with some personal enmity. The disappearance of the deceased woman’s husband, who ran a shop in Hijrat Colony, also raised some questions, he added.
Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2021