KARACHI: At least 11 people were killed and 15 others were wounded in a fresh wave of violence in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, officials said on Friday.
Last week Pakistan ordered hundreds of extra paramilitary policemen onto the streets of the Arabian Sea port to try to quell the violence.
Political and ethnic violence in Karachi is blamed on supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), based among the Urdu-speaking majority, and the rival Awami National Party (ANP), which represents based migrant Pashtuns from the northwest.
“At least 11 people were killed and 15 others were wounded since last night,” home ministry official Sharafuddin Memon said, but declined to comment whether they were ethnically-motivated killings.
Local police officials confirmed the death tol
l but did not give details.
The MQM last month quit the coalitions led by the main ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) that govern the country and the southern province of Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital. The ANP remains part of both coalitions.
The previous wave of violence erupted after provincial minister Zulfiqar Mirza, from the PPP, criticised the MQM and its exiled leader Altaf Hussain.
Mirza later apologised for remarks that he said were his “personal opinion” and from London, Hussain asked his supporters to “end their peaceful protest and go back to their homes”.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says 490 people were killed in targeted killings in Karachi in the first half of the year, compared to 748 for the whole of 2010, which was the worst since 1995.