KARACHI - At least 10 people, including five religious scholars, were gunned down in several incidents of sectarian killings in different localities of the city while religious organisations alleged the unabated sectarian killings were the result of the ‘misappropriate’ targeted operation.

The incidents of sectarian killings continued in the city that claimed lives of four people from Deoband school of thought and three Shias, here in the metropolis.

 In the first incident, 55-year-old Qari Ali Hassan Barohi and his son Maulana Manzoor Hassan Barohi, 28, were shot dead in the Sachal police precincts.

The deceased were returning from the seminary of Usmaniya when gunmen, riding a motorbike, targeted them at the gate of the seminary. Qari Ali Hassan Barohi was chief cleric of the mosque and the seminary and was affiliated with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F.

In the second incident, a worker associated with Imamia Students Organisation, Hammad Raza, 33, was gunned down in Sector 11-D, New Karachi, when he was going to his workplace from home. Police suspected the deceased was killed on sectarian grounds while his body was handed over to the family after autopsy. Another similar incident took place near North Nazimabad, Health Care Centre, where gunmen on two motorbikes sprayed bullets on a rickshaw and managed to flee. As a result, 65-year-old Allama Taqi Hadi Naqvi, a religious scholar, was killed. Police said the deceased, who was head of the vigilance team of Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, was returning home from his office when the incident took place. Another Shia, Aslam Rasul Bux, was killed in the precincts of Joharabad police.

Tension was witnessed in various localities, especially in Incholi Society, from where the two bodies were taken to Imambargha Khairul Amal. At the same time, a high-roof pickup of Zakriya Al-Khair seminary was targeted by known gunmen near Al-Noor Hospital, Incholi. As a result, Qari Bilal and Maulana Muhammad Jabbar sustained bullet wounds and were rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where they succumbed to their injuries. Police said both the clerics, besides teaching students in the seminary, were also doing the job of pick and droop for the students.

Maulana Taj Hanfi, central leader of Ahle Sunnat wal-Jamaat, previously known as Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, while talking to The Nation, said a conspiracy was being hatched to turn the direction of the operation towards religious organisations. He said covert forces were trying to intensify the sectarian tension in Karachi. It was the responsibility of the law-enforcement agencies to expose the elements involved in sectarian target killings. “We will not allow anyone to create a Syria-like situation in Pakistan,” he said and added police claimed to have arrested only two activists of defunct Sipah-e-Muhammad while the remaining 16 of the said group were at large. On the other hand, workers, supporters and sympathisers of ASWJ were being killed in the city in back-to-back incidents, he lamented.

Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen leader Hujjat-ul-Islam Maulana Baqir Zaidi condemned the incidents of sectarian killings and announced three-day mourning to protest the assassination of renowned Shia scholar Allama Professor Taqi Hadi Naqvi and 5 other Shias, including Professor Agha Muhammad Salman, during the last 72 hours.

“The Sindh government, police and rangers have failed to protect the lives of law-biding citizens. Their incompetence and inaction has emboldened the terrorists of the banned outfits to deprive the nation of its highly qualified sons,” he said.

Death toll reached at 10 in sectarian base target killing, three more people were gunned down in separate armed attacks on cars in different parts of the city,

Meanwhile, two people were gunned down at Hussainabad Chorangi in the precincts of Azizabad police station. DSP Saleem Akhter Siddiqui told The Nation that at least four armed men on two motorbikes intercepted a car bearing registration number AKX-146, resorted to indiscriminate fire on the vehicle and managed to escape. As a result, Orangzeb, 50, and Abdul Waheed, 40, sustained multiple bullet wounds and died on their way to hospital. The officer said the deceased were affiliated with Tableeghi Jamaat and were returning home in Dehli Colony from a Tableeghi gathering at Madni Mosque in the Azizabad area. He suspected the attack was sectarian-based. Further investigation was underway.

One Faisal son of Muhammad Umar was shot dead and another sustained serious bullet wounds in another armed attack on a van at Liaquatabad Bypass in the precincts of Sharifabad police station. Police said unidentified armed riders opened fire on the van and fled from the scene. After receiving information, rescue workers shifted them to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where doctors pronounced Faisal dead while Saad was admitted for medical treatment. The police declared the incident sectarian-based.