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19 April 2024

Gunmen kill Pakistani lawyers in Karachi


Three Pakistani lawyers were shot dead and a fourth wounded on Wednesday in a drive-by sectarian attack in Pakistan's financial capital Karachi, police said.

The victims included a father and his son. Armed motorcyclists sprayed bullets at their car in the city's southern Arambagh neighbourhood, police said.

"All the victims are lawyers, two of the dead are father and son," police official Mohammad Naeem told AFP.

Another police official described the victims as members of Pakistan's minority Shiite Muslim community.

Manzoor Wassan, home minister of southern Sindh province, of which Karachi is capital, said the attack was sectarian.

"We have noticed a few sectarian killings lately, which are aimed at creating chaos in Karachi," he told AFP.

The Supreme Court Bar Association said they would protest against the killings by observing a country-wide boycott of court proceedings on Thursday.

Karachi last year endured its worst ethnic and political unrest in 16 years. The southern port city is used by the United States to ship supplies to NATO troops fighting against the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Pakistan's rights bodies said more than 1,000 people had been killed in violence in Karachi last year, including more than 100 in one week alone in October.

Elsewhere on Wednesday in the southwestern city of Quetta, the capital of the oil and gas rich Baluchistan province, gunmen shot dead three Shiite Muslims, police and local intelligence officials said.

"Two gunmen riding a motorbike opened fire on a car in Quetta city, killing three Shiite Muslims including two government officials and a local television artist," senior local police official, Muhammad Tariq told AFP.

He said it seemed like a sectarian attack, but the police had launched an investigation into the incident.

A local intelligence official also confirmed the incident.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Baluchistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, is beset by separatist unrest, militancy and sectarian violence between majority and minority.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed since Baluch rebels rose up in 2004 against the federal Pakistani government, demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region's oil, gas and mineral resources.