Clashes in Pakistan's Karachi Kill at Least 34
Tuesday, 03 August 2010

At least 34 people have been killed in the Pakistani commercial hub of Karachi, after a member of the dominant political party in the city was shot dead, police said on Tuesday.

Raza Haider of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was gunned down on Monday along with his bodyguard while attending a funeral, an attack that apparently set off a new round of ethnic and sectarian-related clashes in the city of 18 million.

Such violence has raised fears of instability in Karachi, and the flight of Taliban militants to the city after army offensives against their bases in Pakistan's northwest has also sounded alarm bells.

"Since yesterday, 34 people have been killed, about 90 people injured and dozens of shops and vehicles have been burned down," Karachi police chief Waseem Ahmed told Reuters.

Ahmed said the police has credible information that Haider's killing was carried out by a banned sectarian organization. He did not say which one.

Schools were closed on Tuesday in response to the violence in a tense city with very thin traffic on the streets.

The MQM has called for three days of mourning.


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