Targeted killings in Karachi
|Jul & Aug 2011 Karachi target killings|
|Date||July 6, 2011 to mid August 2011, violence subdued as of September 2011|
|Target||Various ethnic groups|
During the months of July and August 2011, a number of targeted killings in Karachi, Pakistan left hundreds of people dead. The attacks are part of an ongoing terrorist campaign of political, ethnic and religious violence that has gripped the city in its worst form in the recent years. By late August and September 2011 the security situation in Karachi has stabilized and target killings have largely stopped, though isolated incidents still occur.
Continuous target killings in the month of July claimed the lives of over 300 people. The high death toll in July made it one of the deadliest months in almost two decades in the history of Karachi - in fighting linked to ethnic and religious tensions that plague the city.
The shooting incidents, starting from 6 July, were perpetrated by unknown gunmen and fired indiscriminately in various neighbourhoods throughout the city. In the third day alone, at least 27 people were shot dead, in what was described as one of the worst days the city was witness to since the PPP-led coalition government came into power.
During the course of the attacks, some three buses were fired upon; some shootings were conducted in Orangi Town, causing many suburban locals to vacate their homes and flee to safer areas. All of the attackers managed to escape immediately after the crime.
The President summoned a meeting of top officials to discuss the ongoing violence and find a solution. The attack was condemned by a number of people in the media. Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, one of the large mainstream political parties which dominate the politics of Karachi, threatened to call a strike if the government did not do enough to combat the incident.
Karachi has seen a number of target killings, most of which are allegedly politically motivated and usually carried out against political workers affiliated with political parties. Random shooting incidents however, like these attacks, are not as frequent and raise concerns over the deteriorated security situation of the city.
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