Nine people were gunned down in Karachi in three separate incidents on Tuesday. Police say at least two of these incidents may have had sectarian motives.
Shia leader Allama Deedar Ali Jalbani and his security guard were killed in a drive-by shooting in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. Jalbani was the deputy secretary-general of Majlis-e-Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen, an organization set up to promote the security and interests of Pakistan’s Shia community, who make up around 20 percent of the population.
“Gunmen riding a motorbike opened fire on [Jalbani’s] vehicle,” said senior local police official Pir Muhammad Shah, adding that the attack was designed to fuel sectarian violence in the city.
After the Jalbani attack, three Sunni preachers were shot dead outside a mosque in Karachi’s North Nazimabad area. “Four gunmen came on two motorcycles and sprayed bullets on the members of an Islamic preaching group outside a mosque. Three people were killed in the incident and the attackers escaped,” said Aamir Farooqi, a senior police official. Farooqi said two of the deceased were of Moroccan descent, but police were working to confirm their nationalities and other details.
Later in the evening, unidentified gunmen killed four people in central Karachi; police could not confirm whether this last attack had sectarian motives.