9 Jul 2011

Almost 100 dead after political violence in Pakistani city

8:55 pm on 9 July 2011

At least 98 people have died in political violence sweeping the Pakistani city of Karachi and troops have been given the power to shoot-to-kill whoever they believe is involved in the unrest.

A home ministry spokesperson says paramilitary troops are in control and patrolling streets in troubled parts of the southern port city.

The unrest has been blamed on loyalists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the dominant local party that represents Pakistanis who migrated from India, and the Awami National Party of Pashtuns from the northwest.

In the worst incident, gunmen opened fire on two buses, killing 12 people, including a six-year-old girl, the AFP reports.

The latest bout of violence comes just days after the MQM walked out of the federal government led by the Pakistan People's Party, a move which some analysts said made it harder for the government to intervene.