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Central & South Asia
Ethnic violence erupts in Karachi
Dozens of people killed amid dispute between Mohajirs and Pashtuns in Pakistan city.
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2009 16:42 GMT
Shooting in a Mohajir locality of Karachi is said to have sparked Wednesday's deadly rioting [EPA]

At least 34 people have been killed and 50 others injured in clashes in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, local hospital officials have said.

Calm returned to the city on Thursday, a day after the fighting erupted, with some areas left deserted.

"The situation is under control now and we are trying to maintain peace," Rafiq Engineer, provincial minister for special development, said.

Waseem Ahmed, the city police chief, said the clashes on Wednesday were the result of a dispute between the city's ethnic groups Mohajirs and Pashtuns.

Violence erupted in different parts of the port city after an unidentified man opened fire in a Mohajir neighbourhood in the centre of the city.

Officials at Karachi's largest hospital said it had received 25 bodies while a senior police official said nine bodies were delivered to another hospital.

'Indiscriminate firing'

Dozens of cars and several shops were burnt in the riots.

Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman, reporting from Islamabad, said two supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, a party generally representing the Mohajirs,  had been found shot in the northern suburbs.

"There has been indiscriminate firing in the northern suburbs of the city with six police officers wounded," he said.

"It is very unsure how the police will be able to respond to the violence."

Karachi, Pakistan's financial capital, has a long history of ethnic, religious and sectarian violence but has been relatively peaceful in recent years.

The city is dominated by Mohajirs, Urdu-speaking people who migrated from India after Pakistan was created in 1947, but there is also a sizeable population of ethnic Pashtuns.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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