Police described the incidents as 'targeted killings'. – File Photo by AFP

KARACHI: A cleric and an organiser of a scouts group on Tuesday were killed in different parts of the city in what appears to be a fresh wave of sectarian killings.

Police described both the incidents as 'targeted killings' citing that suspects fired straight shots at the victims.

“No doubt both the killings apparently have sectarian motive, but it will be premature to comment if the incidents are co-related,” said Additional Inspector-General, Karachi, Akhtar Husain Gorchani while speaking to .

The caretaker and Khateeb of Lal Masjid and allied seminary, situated in the Firdous Colony area of Gulbahar, Maulana Abdul Samad Soomro, 40, was getting off his car outside the mosque when he was targeted. Two suspects riding a motorcycle fired multiple shots at him and fled, police said.

Maulana Soomro was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

He suffered six bullet wounds in the chest and back, police and hospital sources said. DSP Rustam Khattak said that police found spent bullet casings of a 9mm pistol at the crime-scene.

The slain cleric was also a visiting faculty member of the Jamia Binoria, SITE, said Maulana Ghulam Rasool, a spokesman for the Jamia.

“He had been receiving threats for quite some time and in this connection he had also written letters to the home department seeking security, but they didn't take the matter seriously,” the spokesman added.

Maulana Soomro had eight children and belonged to Shikarpur.

Soon after the incident, tension gripped the neighbourhood with the closure of shops and other commercial activities. Police contingents were deployed in the area following the killing.

A spokesman for the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat said that the slain cleric was one of the founders of Ittehad Bainul Muslimeen.

Earlier during the day, an organiser of a scouts group was gunned down near an Imambargah in Orangi Town No 10.

Thirty-year-old Nayyar Abbas, son of Ashraf Abbas, was killed two months after his brother, Imran Abbas, had been killed in a somewhat similar way in North Nazimabad.

Police said that Nayyar Abbas was driving his delivery van through which he used to distribute milk and juices. “As his van slowed over a speed hump near Hydri Imambargah, two suspects riding a motorcycle appeared and pumped a bullet in his temple,” said SSP (west) Asif Ajaz.

The victim was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The deceased was one of the organisers of the Sajjadia Scouts.

As the news of the killing spread, some shops were closed in Abbas Town and adjoining areas. Following the incident, the Mominabad SHO was placed under suspension by the SSP (west).

The senior officer said a police constable was posted at the nearby Imambargah but at the time of the incident, he was not present outside the premises.

A spokesman for the Jaffaria Alliance said that this was the latest in a series of sectarian killings taking place especially in the Nazimabad area.

“Two months back, the brother of Nayyar Abbas, Imran Abbas, was killed at his paan shop in North Naizmabad,” he added.

He said a delivery man was also present with Nayyar Abbas at the time of the killing. But his whereabouts were not known while police appeared silent over his presence.