KARACHI, March 20: At least 15 people, including three workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, were gunned down in targeted attacks and drive-by shootings in the city on Sunday, officials said.

In just one week, more than 30 people have fallen victim to targeted killings in the city. The violent incidents, which were initially restricted to old city areas, spread to other parts of the city, including the defunct district central, on Sunday.An area office of the MQM within the remit of the Soldier Bazaar police station also came under a grenade attack. However, no one was injured in the attack as the office was closed.

In the early hours of Sunday, armed men on a motorbike attacked a unit office of the MQM in the Nazimabad area, killing an activist and leaving another injured.

The police said that 45-year-old Ghulam Hussain, who was associated with the party's Unit 167 and lived in Nazimabad, was killed in the attack. He was the father of two.

“Another worker, 42-year-old Shafiq Ahmed, was also wounded. Both workers were standing outside the unit office when it came under an armed attack,” said an official at the Gulbahar police station.

About an hour later, armed men struck again and targeted another MQM worker in the Lyari area.

“Twenty-five-year-old Kamran Khatri was found shot dead in Moosa Lane,” said an official at the Baghdadi police station. “He might have been kidnapped before he was gunned down. He was the resident of the Daryaabad area in Lyari and worked as a salesman at a Saddar shop. He was an active member of the MQM.”

The violent incidents continued even after the sunrise and this time armed motorcyclists targeted another MQM worker, 28-year-old Shahzad Hussain, near the Met Office parallel to the main University Road.

The police said that the victim was shot dead when he was sitting outside an auto-workshop for some personal work.

“He was hit by 14 bullets,” said an official at the Mubina Town police station. “He was the resident of an apartment building on Abul Hasan Ispahani Road. He was associated with the MQM's Gulshan-i-Maymar unit.”

In the second half of the day, armed men on two motorbikes resorted to indiscriminate firing on shops in Gulshan-i-Iqbal's Block 4, killing two young shopkeepers and wounding four others.

“There is an ice depot, a teashop and a general store near the Disco Bakery bus stop,” said an official at the Gulshan-i-Iqbal police station. “As told by witnesses, at least four men on two motorbikes fired dozens of shots targeting the shops, which are owned by two families related to each other. The assailants left in a flash after executing the job.”

The victims were identified as two cousins, Azizullah and Hameedullah, while their aides — Jamal Shah, Saifullah and Wilayat Shah — sustained serious bullet wounds and shifted to a nearby private hospital for treatment.

Though police investigators remained clueless about the reasons behind the deadly attacks on shopkeepers, they did not rule out that it could be part of the recent wave of violence. In another incident that occurred just minutes after the sunset, assailants shot dead two paan shop owners in Kharadar.

“There are a few paan shops situated along Kamil Gali in the Kharadar area,” said an official at the Kharadar police station. “Four masked riders on two motorbikes started indiscriminate firing that killed two men, Vicky Kumar and Asghar Hussain. Vicky was a resident of the same area while Asghar lived in Moosa Lane.”

Armed motorcyclists struck again in the Gareden area and shot dead two youngsters.

The police said the armed motorcyclists intercepted two pedestrians near the Good Luck marriage lawn and shot them to death before escaping the scene.

”The victims appear to be in their mid-20s, both wearing shalwar-kameez. None of them have been identified yet,” said an official at the Garden police station.

In Baldia Town, a textile worker was shot dead when he was returning home from work.

An official at the Baldia police station said that the victim, identified as Rasheed Sultan, was hit by multiple bullets near Rasheedabad, a neighborhood near Baldia Town No 8. He died on the spot.

In two separate incidents, a head constable and a man were killed in the Sohrab Goth and Manghopir areas, respectively.

The police said the cases were reported between Saturday and Sunday and they were unaware of the motive behind them.

“The head constable was gunned down near his residence in Sohrab Goth,” said an official at the Sohrab Goth police station. “Thirty-seven-year-old Arshad Kundi lived in the Gulzar-i-Hijri police lines and was returning home from work when he was targeted. The victim was associated with the investigation section of the Gulshan-i-Iqbal Town police.”

Similarly, in the Manghopir area, a 32-year-old man was killed in firing. The victim, identified as Khayal Mehsood, was hit by five bullets fired at a very close range.

“He was a resident of the Rasheedabad area near Mushki Pahari, close to the area of the incident. He hailed from the tribal areas,” said an official at the Manghopir police station.

The Kalri police found the bullet-riddled body of a young man in the early hours of Sunday.

The man, later identified as 25-year-old Muhammad Rafiq, was a resident of the Garden area and had gone missing since Saturday evening.

“The victim hailed from Attock and worked as a labourer in an industrial unit,” said an official at the Kalri police station, adding that he was found dead near People's Football Ground close to Mauripur Road.

Another bullet-riddled body of a middle-aged man was found in the Pak Colony area near Bismillah Hotel. The victim was later identified as 45-year-old Ali Nawaz, who lived in the same area.

“He sustained three bullet wounds in the chest. We are quite sure that he was kidnapped and tortured before being gunned down,” said a Pak Colony police official, adding that he was apparently killed due to some personal enmity.

Similarly, an unidentified young man was found shot dead in the Gulistan-i-Jauhar area.

“The victim was clad in jeans and shirt and he was hit by a single bullet in the head. The body bore torture marks. The victim might have been killed a couple of days ago,” said an official at the Gulistan-i-Jauahr police station.



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