Sectarian clash claims 5 lives in Karachi of Pakistan

Sectarian clash claims 5 lives in Karachi of Pakistan
# 05 September 2011 20:47 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. At least five people have been killed in an armed clash between two religious groups in the Pakistani violence-hit southern port city of Karachi, police said Monday, APA reports uoting Xinhua.

The clash between the banned Sunni extremist group "Sipah-e- Sahaba" and "Sunni Tehrik" at New Karachi area late Sunday night prompted an operation by the paramilitary soldiers.

Over a dozen of activists of both groups were arrested after a search operation in the area.

The operation was ended Monday morning and all markets which had been closed during the operation were reopened and transport was allowed to enter the area.

Police said that unidentified armed men shot dead an activist of Sunni Tehrik at Godhra locality of New Karachi, which provoked the group and its supporters to launch a counter attack on the rival Sipah-e-Sahaba group.

Both sides exchanged fire for two hours, which resulted in the death of five people. All those killed belonged to Sunni Tehrik, said police, adding that over a dozen of activists from both groups were injured and were taken to local hospitals.

Tension gripped the area after sectarian clash and all markets were closed and the firing forced the residents to stay indoors.

Residents staged demonstration against the clash and also chanted slogans against the law enforcement agencies for failure to control the clash of the sectarian groups.

Paramilitary force and police arrived at the scene and launched a search operation against the rival groups and detained several of their members.

Police said that three more people were killed in the overnight firing incidents in Karachi.

Fresh violence occurred at a time when the Supreme Court resumed on Monday hearing of the lawlessness in Karachi, a city of nearly 18 million people of multi-ethnic communities.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had taken a suo moto notice of the wave of violence in Karachi and had sought reports from all military and civil intelligence agencies about the sharp increase in violence.

The police chief of Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital, told the apex court last week that 306 people were killed in ethnic and sectarian violence in a month time extending from July 24 to August 24.

The Supreme Court had criticized the role of the police and other law enforcement agencies for their failure to control target killings.
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