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Vigil as violence rocks Karachi

Pakistan deployed additional security forces in Karachi after 13 more people were killed in political and ethnic violence.

At least 58 people have been killed since politician Raza Haider was gunned down on Monday night. The latest deaths happened in violence on Tuesday evening.

Traffic was thin on Wednesday in the southern port city of 16 million people. Attendance was down in government offices.

Authorities have revealed little about the identities of the dead or the nature of the killings. The casualties are believed to be members of rival political parties or different ethnic groups.

Government spokesman Jamil Soomro said authorities are taking all possible measures to restore normality.

Dozens of vehicles and shops were set on fire on Tuesday as security forces struggled to regain control of the city. Schools were closed and most business ground to a halt.

Mr Haider was shot dead along with his bodyguard in a mosque while preparing to offer prayers in the Nazimabad area.

Mr Haider was a member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the political party that runs the city and represents mainly descendants of Urdu-speaking migrants from India who settled in Pakistan when it was created in 1947.

The MQM's main rival is the Awami National Party, a secular nationalist party whose main power centre is Pakistan's north west and whose base is the ethnic Pashtun community living in Karachi.

Within hours of Mr Haider's assassination, gangs torched buildings in Karachi and gunfire erupted in several parts of the city.


From Belfast Telegraph