Five Vehicles Torched as Violence Erupts in Karachi
Radical Sunni Muslims rampaged through various parts of this southern port city Saturday, burning cars and buses in protest against the execution of a religious extremist this week, police said.
In another incident overnight unknown gunmen shot dead a Shiite Muslim in the city's western neighborhood of Orangi Town, police said.
Police said Zahid Hussain, 35, a member of the Shiite political party Tehreek-i-Jafria Pakistan (TJP) was sitting in a barber's shop late Friday when the assailants barged in and opened fire, killing him on the spot.
At least five vehicles including two buses were torched Saturday as extremists from Sunni group Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) pelted stones and burnt tyres on the roads to disrupt traffic.
SSP had called for a protest against the hanging of its member, Haq Nawaz, on Wednesday for the 1990 murder of Iranian Cultural Center director Sadiq Ganji.
Local administration official Iqbal Hussain Durrani said the strike was later called off after SSP leaders held talks with the provincial government, "but some miscreants still restored to violence."
Police and paramilitary troops have been patrolling the city in large numbers, witnesses said.
Nawaz, 33, was the first Sunni extremist to be executed in Sunni-majority Pakistan, where sectarian violence has claimed around 3,000 lives over the past 10 years.
Despite tight security and the arrest of around 800 SSP workers and supporters across the country, 13 people were killed when Sunni extremists opened fire on a crowded market in the northwestern town of Hangu Thursday.
Karachi has a history of political, ethnic and sectarian violence which has killed more than 4,000 people in the past five years – KARACHI (AFP)
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