KARACHI, May 24: Six people, including two workers of the Pakistan People’s Party and a son of party activist, were shot dead in different parts of the city on Thursday.
In an attack on PPP office in Mowach Goth, Baldia, four party workers sustained gunshot wounds and one of them died on the spot, said an official at the Saeedabad police station.
He added that four armed men riding two motorbikes arrived at the PPP office. They parked the vehicles, barged into the office and opened indiscriminate fire, killing Ghulam Mustafa Khaskheli, 28, on the spot and wounding three others. The attackers fled leaving Khan Afsar, 45, his son, Liaquat Askani, and Ajmal in a pool of blood.
The police shifted the body and the injured to the Civil Hospital Karachi, where Khan Afsar died during treatment.
Quoting an eyewitness, Saeedabad SHO Tariq Islam said that there were four armed men who attacked the PPP office.
Soon after the shooting, gunshots were heard in Hassan Goth, Mowach Goth and surrounding areas. Amid fear and tension, traders pulled down shutters. Some enraged people blocked traffic by placing burning tyres on Hub River Road. The protesters also raised slogans against gangsters in Lyari.
Heavy contingents of police reached the area and tried to disperse the crowd. While traffic on the Hub River Road remained suspended for hours, the police finally fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters and cleared the hurdles on the road.
Karachi District Central PPP president Sohail Abidi said that one of the victims was an active worker of the PPP in the PS-90 area. Mustafa Khaskheli was a younger brother of Edhi Amin Khaskheli, a co-coordinator of PPP lawmaker Abdul Qadir Patel. Amin was also killed in a similar way two years ago in the same area and after his murder Mustafa played an active role in the area, said Mr Abidi.
Khan Afsar was a resident of Shershah and he went to the party office with his two sons when it came under attack, party sources said.
Scores of PPP workers and leaders, including Mr Patel, lawmaker Nadeem Ahmed Bhutto and Karachi division deputy secretary of the party Suleman Sindhi, later attended the funeral of Mustafa Khaskheli. He was buried in the Mowach Goth graveyard.
Later on Thursday night, the son of a PPP worker was shot dead in Sector 14-G of Orangi Town.
The police said Nasarullah, 22, son of Moosa Khan Bihari was killed in a drive-by shooting. The body was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
Pakistan Bazaar SHO Sabir Khan said the victim was the younger son of Moosa Bihari, a prominent PPP worker in Orangi Town. He added that the victim was mentally challenged and the motive behind the murder was yet to be ascertained.
Soon after the killing, tension gripped the vicinity and traders pulled down shutters.
Clash leaves two dead
In a clash between two groups, two people were killed near Muhammadi mosque in Ilyas Goth, C-1 Area of Liaquatabad, said an official at the Supermarket police station.
SHO S.M. Raza said one of the victims had been identified as Naeem Baloch, son of Ismail Baloch. He was a resident of Ilyas Goth, the officer said, adding that both people were shot dead during the clash between two groups.The bodies were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
Residents said that the victim was associated with the Arshad Pappu group and suspected that his rival group was involved in his murder.
Sources in the police said that heavy contingents of Rangers had earlier conducted a targeted operation in Ilyas Goth and Haji Murid Goth in the early hours of Thursday. As soon as the paramilitary force returned, the groups exchanged fire, leaving the two persons dead.
Man killed in bus
Following the clash in Ilyas Goth, a man was shot dead and another wounded in a passenger bus (JK-1843) in the Teen Hatti area, said an official at the Jamshed Quarter police station.
DSP Rustam Khattak quoted the bus conductor, Riaz, as saying that the two men dashed along the moving bus and boarded it. They were followed by three armed men riding motorbikes. The gunmen intercepted the bus and boarded it shortly afterwards. They fired at the two passengers and escaped.
The officer said that one of the victims, Arif Baloch aka Mama, son of Khuda Bakhsh, died on the spot and the other, Owais Baloch, son of Ibrahim, sustained gunshot wounds.
The police later rushed the body and the injured to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities and treatment.
The police said the victim was a resident of Faqeer Colony, Orangi Town.
While officials were not sure about the motive of the attack, they suspected that the killing could be related to gang warfare in Lyari or to the clash in Ilyas Goth.