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Three shot dead in suspected sectarian killing in Karachi

ASI of sindh police gunned down

KARACHI: Three people were shot dead in the city’s North Karachi area Friday afternoon in what police suspect is a sectarian attack.

The victims, all of whom belong to the Shia community, had just offered Friday prayers at the Najaf Imambargah, said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Central Investigation Arab Mahar.

“The victims were riding a motorbike and were attacked near Shafiq Mor,” the police official said.

This is the first major incident of sectarian violence in Karachi in 2016. Although incidents of sectarian violence have decreased over the past year, it remains prevalent as professionals continue to be targeted on the basis of their faith, Kamran Arif, co-chairperson of the Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP) said earlier.

An HRCP report released in April said 2015 saw 58 incidents of sectarian violence ─ nearly half as many as those in 2014. Several thousand citizens belonging to religious minority communities are reported to have left the country over the past few years “on account of faith-based violence, discrimination and persecution”.

The ‘operation’ against criminal elements in Pakistan’s commercial hub was initiated back in September 2013 after the federal cabinet empowered Rangers to lead a targeted advance with the support of police against criminals already identified by federal military and civilian agencies for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.

A high-level apex committee meeting chaired by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif on May 14, 2015 decided to implement effective policing and surveillance in the “vast suburbs of Karachi”, to prevent what the military spokesperson said were “sneaking terrorist attacks”.

Amid resentment and criticism from certain political circles over the ‘Karachi operation’, the military establishment in August said that there would be no let-up in actions by law enforcement agencies “to ensure a peaceful and terror-free Karachi”.

Police sources have said that three elements — a political party, banned sectarian outfits and hired assassins — were responsible for the killings of the law-enforcers in the metropolis over the past year.

 






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