KHAIRPUR: At least 13 people, including an SHO and political activists, were killed and over 50 others injured in clashes during the LG polling yesterday while a candidate among five workers was arrested. According to details, clashes started between PPP and PML-F workers (Farooqi and Junejo communities) at three polling stations of Union Council Daraza Sharif. Both the groups attacked each other with sophisticated weapons, clubs and stones. As a result, 11 people were killed and 12 injured.

The Ranipur SHO told The Nation that a heavy contingent of police had reached the spot to control the situation. However, according to the villagers, the situation was very tense in the area. The police remained away from the spot and the villagers themselves shifted the injured and bodies to hospitals, they added. The Rangers also reached the area while the district administration declared all the polling stations the most sensitive. Khairpur SSP Pir Muhammad Shah confirmed the deaths of 12 persons and injuries to 15 others while army was also called.

Sukkur Commissioner Abbas Baloch said a heavy contingent of law-enforcement agencies had brought the situation under control. The law enforcers were still present in the restive area and there was no complaint of any attack, the commissioner said. He revealed those killed belonged to one group while the Gambat SHO was inside a polling station when he was killed in firing from a house. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah took notice of the incident and sought a report from the IG police.

In another incident, Faqeer Rajer, an activist of PML-F, was killed and five others were injured in a clash between PPP and PML-F workers at Misri Shah polling station of taluka Kotdiji. According to details, polling started at all the 796 polling stations in eight talukas of the district. PML-F worker Faqeer Rajer was killed and three others were injured when a clash erupted between PPP and PML-F activists at Misri Shah polling station near village Nawab Wasan of taluka Kotdiji. Reportedly, the armed clash occurred when Muhammad Sadoro, PML-F candidate from Ward 5, Jillani Mohallah, boycotted the election, alleging that his rival Syed Amjad Ali Shah, a relative of the Sindh chief minister, was committing rigging with the help of armed persons.

Clashes also took place between PTI, PML-F, PPP and independents at several other polling stations. Meanwhile, Sadarji Bhatyoon SHO Abdus Sattar Kalhoro died of heart attack at Sadarji Bhatyoon polling station while PTI polling agent Hidayatullah Suprio died of cardiac arrest at Gumbat polling station.

In other incidents, 27 people sustained injuries in various clashes at different polling stations in the district. Another report said PPP local leaders entered Law College polling station of Ward-13 of Khairpur MC and stopped voters from casting their votes. AFP adds from Karachi: An armed clash between the supporters of rival political parties left at least 11 people dead during the local government elections in Southern Pakistan. The exchange of fire erupted between the activists of Pakistan People’s Party which rules Sindh and PML-F, headed by famous spiritual leader Pir of Pagara, just one hour before the end of the polling time,” Khairpur SSP Pir Muhammad Shah said.

Khairpur has a history of political tension and armed clashes between PPP and PML-F during elections. Shah said army troops had been deployed in the area to bring the situation under control. A senior official, Munawar Mitthani, also confirmed the incident and casualties. The first phase of the LG elections was held in eight districts of Sindh on Saturday while the second phase is scheduled for November 21 when the remaining 19 districts will vote.

Sindh Information Minister Nisar Khuhro claimed that all the activists who lost their lives in an armed clash in Khairpur belonged to Pakistan People’s Party. Talking to media persons in Karachi, Nisar Khuhro said the culprits would be apprehended after registration of a case. The minister claimed those who opened fire at Union Council Daraza Sharif had been traced.

He said the opponents resorted to firing to punish the voters for casting votes in PPP’s favour. He assured the victims’ families of providing justice to them at all costs. Meanwhile, one person was killed and three others were injured when gunmen opened fire near the dera of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah in Faisalabad, reported a private TV channel. After the incident, supporters of Rana Sanaullah staged a demonstration on Dijkot Road and tortured a police officer. A heavy contingent of police reached the spot and brought the situation under control.