Pakistan Deploys 1,000 Troops to Karachi

Posted July 8th, 2011 at 4:00 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistan has ordered 1,000 additional troops to deploy in Karachi with instructions to shoot on sight any armed men involved in attacks, after the killings of at least 65 people during three days of political and ethnic violence.

Shops were closed in the southern port city Friday as the dominant local party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement , called for a day of mourning and protest rallies.

Police say the killings are part of clashes between political groups in Sindh province, the MQM and its rival Awami National Party .

The MQM largely represents the Urdu-speaking community, and until last month was part of the ruling coalition in Sindh. ANP represents ethnic Pashtuns.

MQM leader Raza Haroon said Thursday MQM supporters were being targeted because the party quit the coalition.

Amnesty International has called on Pakistani authorities to thoroughly investigate targeted killings, not just in Karachi, but throughout Pakistan. Amnesty said Thursday the increase in violence and “general insecurity” in the country over the past two years reflects a “grave law and order crisis” in Pakistan.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says 490 people were victims of targeted killings in Karachi in the first half of this year.

Some 16 million people live in Pakistan's economic hub Karachi. The city has also been the scene of sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims and militant attacks.