18 killed in Karachi ethnic clashes | world | Hindustan Times
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18 killed in Karachi ethnic clashes

At least 18 people were killed and over 80 injured in ethnic clashes between two groups in this southern Pakistani port city, prompting authorities to arm the security forces with "shoot-to-kill" orders to quell the violence.

world Updated: Nov 30, 2008 15:12 IST

At least 18 people were killed and over 80 injured in ethnic clashes between two groups in this southern Pakistani port city, prompting authorities to arm the security forces with "shoot-to-kill" orders to quell the violence.

The violence erupted after members of one group resorted to indiscriminate firing in several parts of Karachi last night. Sporadic incidents of firing were reported throughout last evening.

The rioters also torched 17 vehicles, police said adding cops and paramilitary troops are patrolling the city to prevent further violence.

At least four women were among the injured, they said.

Zulfiqar Mirza, the Home Minister of Sindh province, said he had issued orders to security forces to shoot anyone opening fire.

Witnesses said the violence started in Banaras area when some armed men organised a protest and blocked Bacha Khan Chowk. The protest turned violent when two groups exchanged fire.

Subsequently, unidentified armed men started firing in other parts of the city, killing people in at least seven places. They also threatened shopkeepers to close their businesses.

Karachi's police chief Waseem Ahmed said orders had been issued to arrest and deal with anti-social elements with an iron hand. No leniency would be shown to them, he said.

Police have arrested over 20 suspects and seized arms from them.