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Taliban behind Karachi violence: Malik

world Updated: Jul 10, 2011 22:37 IST

Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik on Sunday blamed Taliban for the wave of violence that has hit the country's financial hub for the past five days, claiming at least 108 lives, as gunfire continued to rattle the port city.

Citing intelligence reports, Malik said that the Taliban was at least partially responsible for the violence that has left the people living in fear and tension.

"The [Taliban] had evacuated some places during the security forces' operation against them, but police and law enforcement agencies are pursuing them," claimed the minister, stating that there was a network of the Taliban that was active in the northern part of Karachi and involved in acts of militancy across the country's largest city.

His remarks came as the authorities announced that parts of the city had been taken back after being in occupation of armed groups.

Malik said police and rangers had cleared the Kati Pahari hills in Orangi town, the epicenter of the violence, from where armed men indiscriminately fired and even launched rockets on residential areas in Qasba colony.

The intensity of the violence declined on Sunday although seven more people were killed in different areas of the city, taking the toll of dead to around 108 and of those injured to 250, police said.

They said hundreds of people stranded by days of violence have been rescued by paramilitary forces.

Thousands of people have been stuck in the violence-hit areas of the city as groups of heavily-armed people traded fire rockets at each other, paralysing the country's financial capital.