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Eight Reported Dead In Latest Karachi Shootings

A paramilitary soldier stands guard after a gunfight in Karachi on June 2.

A paramilitary soldier stands guard after a gunfight in Karachi on June 2.

KARACHI, Pakistan -- Police in Karachi say eight people have been killed over the past two days in Pakistan's biggest city, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports.

In the latest violence, police said two people were shot in separate attacks in different parts of the city today.

In an incident on June 22, officials say three people were killed and one was injured by gunmen on motorbikes in the city's Korangi neighborhood.

Three others were reported killed by gunmen in separate attacks the same day in the city's Surjani Town and Gulistan Jauhar neighborhoods.

The attacks are the latest in a wave of killings in the city, many of which have targeted ethnic Pashtuns and members of the Shi'a minority. Nearly 100 people have been killed by masked gunmen since May.

Karachi has a long history of violence due to rivalries between different political, religious, and ethnic groups.

Pakistan's political parties have blamed each other for the rise in violence in Karachi. The Sindh provincial government has formed several investigatory committees but their findings have yet to be made public.

The Mutahida Quomi movement, a political party supported by Urdu speakers, enjoys strong support in Karachi. Its leaders claim that organized criminal groups are behind the killings.

Shahi Said, the Sindh Province president for the Awami National Party, a Pashtun nationalist party, told Radio Mashaal that police in Sindh “do not have the courage to conduct an inquiry and tell the truth.”

“Here people from different parties are being killed -- Baluchs are killed, Pashtuns are killed, and Sindhis are killed,” Said told RFE/RL. “The main reason for this killing is that Pashtuns have become a power in Karachi and to suppress this power and displace the Pashtuns from here, conspiracies are being hatched."

An estimated 4 million Pashtuns from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and Pakistani tribal areas reside in Karachi, a port city with a population of some 17 million.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, at least 560 people have died in targeted killings in Karachi since January.