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Karachi death toll rises to 28

December 01, 2008

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KARACHI, Nov 30: At least 20 people were killed in violence in some parts of the city on Sunday, taking the death in two days’ violence to 28, police and hospital sources said.

Members of two ethnic communities went on a rampage and attacked each other. Incidents of arson were reported from some areas. Over 50 shops and at least 60 vehicles have been set on fire over the past two days.

In order to control sniping, the Sindh home department on Sunday issued an order banning pillion-riding for three days – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Karachi’s police chief Waseem Ahmed told Dawn that 28 people had been killed in rioting and over 150 injured in two days of violence. “Over 100 miscreants have been arrested and their weapons have been seized,” he added.

The CCPO said that the violence erupted in certain parts of the city suddenly amid growing tension between the two communities.

“This doesn’t seem to be an organised plot for widespread ethnic strife, although some miscreants attempted to divide the people on ethnic lines,” he said.

He said that the ethnic violence was confined to a few localities and most parts of the city was peaceful. “We have contained violence to a large extent,” he said.

Provincial health minister Saghir Ahmed told Dawn that 28 bodies had been brought to the four government-run hospitals over the past two days.

Sources, however, said that some bodies had not been brought to hospitals.

Sohrab Goth and parts of Orangi Town were the worst affected areas where violence continued till late Sunday night.

Heavy contingents of police and Rangers were deployed in the affected parts of the city while the situation in the rest of the city was somewhat normal with private and public vehicles appearing on the streets and some shops open.

In some localities, petrol pumps and gas stations resumed their routine operation.

Officials said that the provincial government had deployed some 800 paramilitary Rangers in sensitive areas to help police control the situation.

Several shops, most of them dealing in carpets, were set on fire in some parts of the city. At least six carpet shops were torched in Korangi alone.