Gang warfare in the Pakistani city of Karachi has claimed the lives of at least twelve people, including women and children, with the death toll expected to rise.

Wednesday's clashes between feuding gangs left 15 people dead in the Lyari area of Karachi. Dozens more people, including security personnel, were also injured. The incident has left members from both gangs dead and wounded.

"The clash erupted this morning when two gangs exchanged heavy gunfire, later they fired RPGs and lobbed hand grenades at each other," senior police official Faisal Bashir told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.

Lyari is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Karachi and fighting between rival gangs linked to political and ethnic groups frequently erupts.

Karachi, a city of 18 million people that contributes almost half of Pakistan's gross domestic product, has been plagued by sectarian, ethnic and political violence for years. 

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies