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KARACHI, Dec 24: Four people, including three traders, were gunned down in ‘sectarian’ attacks in two different parts of the city on Monday, police said.

The police added that the three traders, including two brothers, were shot dead in two successive ‘sectarian’ attacks in Nazimabad No 2 on Monday morning.

The police added that four armed men riding two motorbikes fired at a department store owner, Qamar Hussain, 45, and his elder brother, Hasnain Hussain, 50, who ran a neighbouring vegetables shop, before killing yet another trader, Hussain Ali, at his paper shop in the next street printing press market.

The drive-by shootings were carried out in Nazimabad No 2 near Inquiry Office within the remit of the Gulbahar police station. The victims were rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where Hussain Ali, 40, was pronounced dead on arrival, while the wounded brothers died during treatment, the police said.

Police investigators later collected seven spent bullet casings of 9mm pistol from the crime-scenes.

Both the brothers were area residents, the police investigators said, adding that Hasnain had three children and Qamar was father of a child.

Hussain was also a resident of Nazimabad and father of five, the police said.

Following the medico-legal formalities, the bodies of the brothers were taken to the Imambargah Shah-i-Karbala in Rizvia Society, while the body of Hussain was shifted to the Mehfil-i-Khurasan where his funeral was held before his burial in the Mewashah graveyard.

The funeral of Hasnain and Qamar will be held on Tuesday after the arrival of their elder brother from Dubai, family members told Dawn.

Following the killings, tension gripped Nazimabad and Rizvia Society where shops and markets were closed, as protesters placed burning tyres on Golimar Road to suspend traffic.

A heavy police contingent was deployed in the area to tackle the situation.

DIG (west) Javed Odho said that the killings seemed to have sectarian motive. He added that 9mm pistol was used in all the three killings, he said. For the past couple of days, the pace of sectarian killings had picked up, he remarked.

Central deputy secretary general of the Majlis Wehdat-i-Muslimeen Maulana Amin Shaheedi condemned what he described as ‘serial targeted killing’ of Shias in Karachi and demanded that President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani take immediate notice of the ‘Shia genocide’ in Karachi.

In a statement, he said more than five Shias were gunned down by militants of banned outfits over the past 36 hours in Karachi but the government and law-enforcement agencies had failed to arrest a single terrorist involved in the killings.

Prayer leader killed

Later during the day, a prayer leader was killed in another sectarian attack, this time in North Karachi, police said.

Mufti Muavia, son of Abdul Mateen, was gunned down as he was about to enter Sadequain mosque at Anda Morr within the remit of the Sir Syed police station, the police added.

The wounded Mufti was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital from where he was referred to the Liaquat National Hospital. He died during treatment on Monday night, the police added.

A spokesman for the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat confirmed the death of Mufti Muavia during treatment at the hospital.

His funeral was held in Madni Masjid, Sector 11-C, North Karachi.

The police described the killing as a sectarian attack. “Apparently the attack somewhat seemed a reaction to the Nazimabad killings,” DIG west Javed Odho observed.

Student killed

A private medical university student was shot dead during what police suspect was a botched kidnapping bid on the Northern Bypass on Monday morning.

Resident of DHA Khadda Market, 28-year-old Zohaib Ahmed was driving a car (ABX-849) when he was shot dead within the remit of the Sohrab Goth police station, officials said.

Sohrab Goth DSP Qamar Ahmed the young man was student of third year MBBS student of Baqai Medical University. The bullet pierced through his shoulder and hit his neck casing his death, the officer said, adding that the victim rammed into the rocks after being shot at.

The police shifted the body to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities.

As a matter of routine, he used to pick up some friends from Sohrab Goth while heading to the university every morning, but it was not clear as to why he took a different route on Monday, said the DSP.

“The victim was not deprived of cash, an expensive cellphone and the car, indicating that it was not a snatching attempt,” he added.

“It seems that the suspects wanted to kidnap the young man, but he attempted to speed away and the suspects opened fire,” the officer conjectured.

Man killed, policeman wounded

A man was shot dead and a policeman was wounded in an attack at a tea restaurant in the Ayub Goth area of Sohrab Goth, officials said.

Abdul Jabbar Barfat, 65, was killed and policeman Mohammad Rafique was wounded in the drive-by shooting, the police said. They said the deceased was father of four.

Man shot dead in Saddar

A young man was shot dead in the Preedy area late Monday night, police said.

The victim was identified as Mazhar, 23, son of Mohammad Zaheer, a resident of Rexer Lines, the police added.

Preedy DSP Zamir Abbasi said: “The victim was shot dead in a street near Rafique Plaza, off the M.A. Jinnah Road. It seems that he had been kidnapped before being brought there and shot dead,” he said.

The victim sustained a single bullet in the head, causing his instant death, the police said.

A spent bullet casing of 9mm pistol was found from the scene, the police said.

They later shifted the body to the Civil Hospital Karachi for medico-legal formalities.

Any political affiliation of the victim was not clear immediately, said DSP Abbasi.

Young man shot dead

A construction company employee was shot dead within the remit of the Bilal Colony police station in New Karachi on Monday.

Nadeem Khursheed, 35, sustained a single bullet in the head, the police said.

They shifted the body to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.

Bodies found

The bodies of two young men were found in a garbage dump in the marshy area near Machhar Colony, police said.

Both the men, identified as Saeed Alam, 20 and Amir Hussain, 24, had been shot at multiple times, the police added.

The police said the two men had criminal background. They had been arrested in murder and armed robbery cases, the police added.