Death toll from Pakistan political unrest rises

A second night of political and ethnic violence in Pakistan’s financial capital, Karachi, raised the death toll from the worst such unrest in the city for years to more than 60, officials said.

The killing rampage was unleashed after the murder on Monday of an MP from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a partner in the Sindh provincial coalition led by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Forty-six deaths were confirmed by dusk Tuesday. On Wednesday, officials said another 14 were reported overnight.

“Hospitals received 14 more bodies of victims of violence overnight, increasing the death toll to 60,” said Jameel Soomro, spokesperson for the government in southern province of Sindh.

“In total, about 100 people have been injured. More than a dozen are in a critical condition.”

A senior security official put the death toll at 62.

“The situation is still tense and there are reports from some areas of intermittent gunfire,” he said on condition of anonymity.

Schools and markets were shut and traffic thin on streets after the rampage, which saw protesters torch cars and shops.

Plagued by ethnic and sectarian killings
Karachi has been largely spared the Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked bomb attacks that have dogged north-west Pakistan, but is plagued by ethnic and sectarian killings, crime and kidnappings.

This week’s unrest marked the deadliest bout of such targeted killings since the coalition MQM-PPP and Awami National Party (ANP) took office in Karachi March 2008.

MQM and ANP represent different communities in the city and have blamed each other over the killings.

The government has not released exact figures, but Rights bodies said 260 targeted killing cases were reported in Karachi during the first six months of the year, compared with 156 during the same period in 2009.

The unrest exacerbated woes in a country battling to contain unprecedented flooding that has killed up to 1 500 people and affected 3,2-million. — AFP

Staff Reporter
Guest Author

Workers fight job-creation ‘mess’

Former Ekurhuleni workers argued in court that a programme promising to equip them with skills simply acted as a labour broker for the municipality

Court dissolves local municipality

Landmark judgment paves the way for South Africans to use legal system to hold councils responsible

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.