The violence was triggered after shots were fired at the funeral procession of a Shia leader Tanvir Abbas [AFP]

At least 17 people were killed in firing incidents in the Pakistani commercial hub of Karachi, as unidentified attackers torched at least three vehicles, police said.

Reporting for Al Jazeera from Islamabad, Kamal Hyder said that Monday's attacks spread over a large area of the city over "tensions boiling over ethnic as well as sectarian issues."

Two persons from minority Shi'ite community, two from a Sunni religious group and two others from a political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) were gunned down in different neighbourhoods in the city. Karachi has been on edge since the stabbing death of MQM figure Imran Farooq in London on Friday. Shia leader Tanvir was then shot and killed on Sunday. Gunmen opened fired on his funeral procession, triggering riots and violence throughout Pakistan's largest city.

Another man was killed in crossfire when protesters from the funeral clashed with security forces. Unidentified protesters burnt tyres and torched at least three vehicles.

Al Jazeera's Hyder reports that the paramilitary forces have been "unable to control the situation" in a city "which has seen a lot of violence, including target killings as well."

Source: Al Jazeera and Agencies