New Fighting Leaves 13 Dead in Karachi
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) - At least 13 people were killed in overnight violence in Karachi, and a leading opposition group threatened widespread anti-government demonstrations.
Eight people, including a policeman, were gunned down Monday night and five others were shot dead Tuesday morning in attacks throughout the sprawling port city. The violence has left more than 100 people dead in the last two weeks _ and nearly 600 dead for the year.
Ms. Bhutto’s administration has been unable to stop the violence, which has been linked to a bitter feud between the government and the Mohajir Qaumi Movement, a militant opposition force.
``I think the killings will continue,″ President Farooq Leghari told journalists on Tuesday. ``Karachi is a complex problem. It does not (have) a simple solution.″
Tensions escalated after Ms. Bhutto described the militants as ``rats″ last week.
The group’s exiled leader, Altaf Hussain, said in London the movement would launch a ``full-scale campaign″ against Ms. Bhutto’s government if she did apologize by June 9.
The movement, considered the most powerful political force in Karachi, is demanding local elections, which were canceled in 1992. Ms. Bhutto’s handpicked administrator currently runs the city.
Police have arrested several hundred supporters of the opposition group, which represents mohajirs, or Muslim immigrants from India, who are a majority in Karachi and claim the government discriminates against them.
Opposition members say they are routinely tortured by authorities, an allegation police deny.
The group also says five of its supporters have died in police custody this month. The families of two men, Salim Jafri and Nadeem Ahmed, said they were missing all their fingernails when the police returned the bodies.