KARACHI, June 4: After a two-day relative lull, a surge in targeted killings was witnessed in the city on Monday when five people, including three workers and a supporter of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, were killed, police said.
Nearly half a dozen drive-by shootings in the old city areas of Kharadar, Paan Mandi, Garden and Lyari came as a grim reminder of the targeted killing of seven people, mostly Baloch, in different parts of the city on Friday.
The shootings spread tension in the old city areas, where traders pulled down shutters for fears of violence.
In what police described as the first gun attack in the early hours of Monday, four friends sitting near Paan Mandi were targeted. Gunmen riding two or three motorbikes opened fire on them and sped away, officials said.
All the four victims, supporters of the MQM, were later rushed to the Civil Hospital Karachi, where one of them died, the police said, adding that he was identified as Irfan Sattar, 30. His friends — Mohammad Hanif, 45, Asghar Yousaf, 33, and Obaid Saleem, 20 — were admitted for treatment, said the police.
Shortly afterwards, gunmen riding two to three motorbikes opened fire on two men sitting in Kamil Gali near Sarafa Bazaar.
Mohammad Zubair and Sher Alam sustained gunshot wounds and were shifted to the CHK for treatment, the police said, adding that both were MQM workers.
The police quoted hospital sources as saying that their condition was stable. In yet another gun attack in the early hours of Monday, two workers of the party were targeted near Shoe Market.
Sharif Abdul Waheed, 48, and Anisur Rehman, 24, were sitting close to Azeem Plaza on Siddique Wahab Road when gunmen riding motorbikes pulled up there, fired at them and sped away, said a duty officer at the Garden police station. He added that both men sustained gunshot wounds. Sharif was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital, while Anisur Rehman was admitted for treatment.
The police quoted party men as saying that the victims were workers of the MQM Lyari sector’s unit 32.
Within some hours, another drive-by shooting was reported in the Kharadar area. “This time gunmen have targeted people near Paper Market,” said an official at the Kharadar police station.
He added that Mansoor aka Churiwala, 32, and Sohail Sikandar, 28, both workers of MQM unit 30 and residents of Kamil Gali, were sitting near a stall when armed men riding motorbikes fired at them and fled. The two men sustained gunshot wounds and were rushed to the CHK, he said.
“Mansoor was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital, while Sohail has been admitted for treatment,” he said, adding that doctors described Sohail’s condition as serious.
In Bihar Colony, a hakim was killed at his clinic in the afternoon, police said.
They added that Asim Sohail, 35, was shot dead inside Ahsan Dawakhana.
The police said the hakim had relocated to North Karachi from Bihar Colony last year. He was an active worker of the MQM in North Karachi though he maintained a low profile in the old city area, where he ran the Dawakhana.
Speaking to Dawn, a senior police officer in the old city areas said that in all the targeted attacks, 9mm pistols were used. He added that police investigators had collected dozens of spent bullet casings at the crime-scenes.
After sunset, two men riding a motorbike were targeted on Nishtar Road.
One of the victims died on the spot while the other, identified as Zeeshanur Rehman, was rushed to the CHK, where he was admitted for treatment, said SDPO Qaiser Ali Shah. He quoted doctors as saying that Zeeshan’s condition was critical.
The identification of the deceased and the victims’ political affiliation could not be immediately ascertained, said the officer.