Karachi death toll tops 90

Karachi officials issued shoot-at-sight orders as ethnic violence in various parts of the city pushed the death count to more than 90 people.

Ethnic violence triggered by political assassination enters fifth day

Karachi officials issued shoot-on-sight orders as ethnic violence in various parts of the city pushed the death count to more than 90 people.

The casualties rose as 11 more were killed overnight in various parts of the city. Ethnic violence triggered by the assassination of a politician in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi entered its fifth day.

Various news outlets estimated the death toll between 90 and 95 people.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik granted permission to law enforcement officers to shoot on sight in a bid to quell the growing wave of targeted killings, and violence that have claimed some 90 lives in the last four days, Pakistan Tribune reported.

"If anyone is found involved or seen, or mentioned in investigations, we are going to take action. So, the best way for them is to either run away from here, stop those activities, or we are going to come to your throat," Malik told journalists.

Sindh province Home Minister, Zulfiqar Mirza, said 195 people had been arrested in connection with the killings.

The unrest was sparked after Raza Haider, a provincial legislator, was shot dead along with his bodyguard in a mosque while preparing to offer prayers Monday in the Nazimabad area.

Haider was a member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the political party that runs the city and represents mainly descendants of Urdu-speaking migrants from India who settled in Pakistan when it was created in 1947.

The MQM's main rival is the Awami National Party, a secular nationalist party whose main power centre is in Pakistan's northwest and whose base is the ethnic Pashtun community living in Karachi.

Within hours of Haider's assassination, gangs torched buildings in Karachi and gunfire erupted in several parts of the city. Many of the dead were killed in targeted, execution-style attacks, authorities said.