Pakistani city is hit by new round of targeted killings

By Shoaib Hasan
BBC News, Karachi

image captionPolice are struggling to keep violence in Karachi under control

At least 10 people have been shot dead in targeted political killings across Pakistan's business capital, Karachi.

Officials told the BBC that the latest deaths bring to 18 the number of people killed over the past three days.

According to human rights groups, 775 people were shot dead in such attacks last year.

Most of the attacks are blamed on the MQM political party, although the ANP and PPP parties have also been involved. All three deny involvement.

The three parties are also currently part of Pakistan's ruling coalition, which has hampered the actions of law enforcement officials.

Karachi seems to be descending into another round of chaos and violence as the killing spree continues.

In the latest attack, an ANP (Awami National Party) activist was gunned down after a restaurant came under fire in the east of the city.

The current round of violence began with an attack in the Orangi area in which a senior leader of an MQM (Muttahida Quami Movement) splinter group was shot dead.

Most of the violence has taken place in the city's massive slum neighbourhood which borders what is the largest industrial area of Karachi, and of Pakistan.

As a result, business activities have been suspended, resulting in losses worth millions of dollars.

Security officials seem unable to stop the attacks, despite several arrests.

Pakistan's government has said in the past that it will punish those responsible, irrespective of their political affiliations.

But these statements appear to lack substance, as the body count continues to mount.

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