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KARACHI, July 21: Three people were killed and five others wounded when an armed clash broke out between two groups near Sohrab Goth on Saturday over some petty monetary dispute, police said.

After the casualties, a violent protest from one of the parties which claimed to have lost its three men led to the blockade of the Superhighway for nearly an hour. They also clashed with the police that left two policemen, including the area SHO, injured.

“There is a residential-cum-commercial neighbourhood called Jannat Town behind Al-Asif Square in Sohrab Goth,” said DSP Iftikhar Lodhi, the area’s sub-divisional police officer.

“There are a number of meat shops in that area for the last several years. Jannat Town’s union or a kind of managing committee manages the market’s operation and collect a monthly fund for that purpose.”

He said the union and the meat sellers had a dispute over the payment of funds for the last several months and on Saturday they turned violent.

The situation turned ugly when arguments over the issue between a group of people representing the union and meat sellers first led to a scuffle and then firing from one of the sides.

Both sides traded gunfire that spread panic in the area. “The firing continued for a few minutes and left three people dead and five injured.

The dead have been identified as Shah Faisal, Rasool Khan and Mirza Khan. All of them were young and in their late-20s or mid-30s,” he added.

The injured were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for treatment.

A heavy contingent of the police and Rangers rushed to the spot but failed to calm the situation.

A number of people took to the streets and blocked the Superhighway, a key link between the city with the upcountry, due to which the commercial and heavy traffic remained suspended for almost an hour.

The police finally managed to persuade the protesters to end their blockade. They later dispersed.

“We have identified the armed men from both sides and we are collecting more facts before launching a targeted operation in pockets of the area as we believe that they would not have left the area,” said a senior police officer. However, before the police launched their targeted operation a number of personnel came under armed attack near the office of the Gadap SP.

The firing from unidentified men left Sohrab Goth SHO Inspector Sultan Mahmood and his colleague wounded.

“Both the injured have been shifted to a private hospital on Stadium Road. The attack appears to be a move to discourage policemen when they were preparing for the operation but it will go on as per the plans,” said DSP Lodhi.