Violence continued for a fourth day across Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi, with at least 30 people killed in attacks across the city. Today’s attacks brought the overall death toll of the latest riots to 73, with no end in sight.
The latest series of rioting, as with several others in the past few months, has a political element, with tit-for-tat assassinations between supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Awami National Party (ANP) spiraling into city-wide riots. It also has an ethnic element, with Mohajirs largely siding with the MQM and Pashtuns siding with the ANP.
The largest incident today involved gunmen on motorcycles attacking a crowded marketplace. Officials say that the attackers were likely gang members from the Lyari district. At least 12 people were killed and a number of others were wounded.
The MQM has announced a one-day period of mourning over the recent killings. Though President Zardari has pledged to see everyone involved in the killings arrested so far it does not appear that the national government has been able to do much with the escalating violence.