Central & South Asia
Several killed in violence in Karachi
Eleven people killed and several injured in violence following murder of local leader of the governing MQM party.
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2012 11:36
Violence broke out after Mansoor Mukhtar, a local leader of the MQM, the governing party in Karachi, was killed [AFP]

Karachi has observed a day of mourning following the murder of a local leader of the city's governing Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party, and the deaths of several others in subsequent violence in Pakistan's business capital.

Eleven people were killed on Tuesday and dozens were injured following the murder of Mansoor Mukhtar.

The local MQM leader was attacked by gunmen in his house in a neighbourhood in the central part of the city early on Tuesday morning.

His brother and sister-in-law were also wounded in the attack. Mukhtar, and his brother Maqsood, later died in hospital.

Violence broke out hours later when unidentified men took to the streets burning vehicles.

A total of 35 vehicles were torched, the home minister of Sindh province, Manzoor Hussain Wassan, said.

Later, three people died in gunfire in different parts of the city.

Angry protesters reportedly also burnt tyres and unknown men forced shop owners to close down their business.

Aerial firing was also also reported in various areas.

"The city is closed because a worker of MQM has been killed. Obviously, the daily wagers are suffering from this
shutdown," said Saeed Ullah, a Karachi resident, on Tuesday.

Transport was suspended and most petrol stations were closed in fear of attacks and arson.

Street thugs

A city of more than 18 million, Karachi has a long history of violence, and ethnic, religious and sectarian disputes and political rows can often explode into battles engulfing entire neighbourhoods.

Street thugs and ethnic gangs have been used by political parties as foot soldiers in a turf war in a city which contributes about two-third of Pakistan's tax revenue and is home to ports, the stock exchange and central bank.

About 300 people were also killed last year - one of the deadliest years in almost two decades - in fighting linked
to ethnic and religious tensions that plague Karachi.

In one incident, 20 people were killed and dozens others injured in clashes between between armed activists of the MQM, and its breakaway faction, the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H).

According to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, more than 1,000 people were killed in ethnic and
politically linked violence in 2011.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.