KARACHI: Two prayer leaders among five men belonging to the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) were gunned down on Friday in what appears to be a tit-for-tat sectarian violence in the city.
In a fresh wave of violence, five members of the religious organisation were murdered in three separate incidents within an hour. Earlier, the Shia community was targeted in the holy month of Muharram, as nearly seven people of the community were killed and several others wounded by unidentified gunmen.
The deadliest of Friday’s incidents took place near Shafiq Morr in the Federal B Area of Gulberg Town, where three ASWJ men were shot dead by armed motorcyclists.
Witnesses said that two suspects targeted the victims, who were on their way back on a motorcycle from the Tahaffuz-e-Haramain Sharifain rally outside the Siddiq-e-Akbar Masjid at Nagan Chowrangi after Friday prayers.
The victims – aged between 25 and 30 years – were identified as prayer leader Maulana Usman Hyderi, Muhammad Yaqoob and Shahid Rafiq, all hailing from Azad Kashmir. Their bodies were moved to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
Meanwhile, another prayer leader, identified as 30-year-old Shafiqur Rehman, was shot dead by motorcyclists near Hyderi Market in North Nazimabad while he was returning from the same rally at Siddiq-e-Akbar Masjid. Earlier in the day, two ASWJ men were targeted at Patel Para in Jamshed Quarters as they returned after offering Friday prayers. One of them, identified as Amin Muhammad, 30, died on the spot, while his companion, Abdul Baqi, 35, was critically wounded in the attack. SHO Inam Junejo said both the victims belonged to Khuzdar, Balochistan.