Volunteers and seminary students shift the body of top cleric, Abdul Majeed Deenpuri, 60, who was gunned down in a shooting, outside a hospital in Karachi on January 31, 2013. — AFP Photo

KARACHI: Mufti Abdul Majeed Deenpuri, a top cleric of the Jamia Banuri Uloom Islamia was shot dead Thursday, with at least nine other people killed in Karachi in the last 24 hours, officials said.

Deenpuri, 60, was a top mufti at the seminary. He was being driven in a car with a fellow cleric when a gunman opened fire near the eastern neighbourhood Nursery.

“We have got blurred close-circuit camera footage that shows there was a single gunman who was waiting for them,” a senior police official told AFP on the condition of anonymity.

“When the car slowed down near a traffic intersection, he opened fire to stop it and then attacked them at close range,” he said.

Fellow cleric Mohammad Saleh, 45, and driver Hassaan Shah, 27, were also killed.

“It was a targeted killing and could have a sectarian dimension,” another security official told AFP.

Seven others have died in acts of violence in the city since late Wednesday, he said.

Fear and panic gripped the area  after the killing of Mufti Deenpuri,  as enraged protestors took to the streets disrupting vehicular traffic on Sharea Faisal, which is one of the main arteries of the city.

Two people were gunned down near the Northern Bypass area.

Earlier, three bodies, bearing torture marks, were found stuffed in gunny bags in Karachi's BaldiaTown area. The victims were abducted a day earlier from Orangi town's Mominabad area in Karachi.

Another tortured body was found in Timber market area of Karachi.

One person died in a gun firing incident in the city's Landhi area.