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25 Killed In Fresh Violence, Even As Activists Walk For Peace

PTI 01 Aug 2011, 7:31:17 IST

Karachi, August 1: Violence refused to die down in this Pakistani city with 10 more people killed on Sunday, raising the death toll to 25 in the past two days, even as people joined a government-supported peace rally to demand an end to the unabated killings.

Police and rescue officials confirmed that 10 more people were killed on Sunday in the highly volatile areas of Orangi Town, Lyari, Landhi and Gulistan-e-Jauhar. Fifteen people have been killed since Saturday , with firing incidents and violence reported from several areas of the city. Among the dead were political activists of different parties.

The violence continued as activists and supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Awami National Party (ANP) and others held a peace walk in the upmarket Clifton area.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also visited the city to show solidarity with the peace march. Activists held white flags and chanted slogans of ‘peace in Karachi' and ‘jeevay Pakistan' (long live Pakistan), as they marched for peace. The highly publicised event was also attended by personalities from the film, television and sports world.

However, violence could not be controlled in several parts of the city.

A police official said in almost all cases, the assailants came on motorcycles and fired indiscriminately, forcing the area to close down in panic and fear. “In some cases activists of parties were targeted outside hotels and their residences,” he added. Police said a search operation was also carried out in some areas to arrest suspected target killers and recover weapons.

The month of July has seen unprovoked bouts of violence with political analysts mainly blaming the violence on ethnic and political clashes between activists of the ruling Pakistan People's Party supported Peace Committee and its coalition partner, ANP and former partner MQM.

Police also do not rule out the involvement of hardcore criminals and land grabbers in the target killings and arson attacks in which over 200 people have been killed in July. PTI