KARACHI: Unknown gunmen killed a senior police officer and a manager of a flour mill in two separate sectarian attacks in Pakistan’s southern port city Karachi on Sunday, officials said.
Deputy Superintendent of Traffic Police Faiz Ali Shigri and mill manager Sajid Sheikh were each shot dead by gunmen riding motorbikes upon leaving their homes in east Karachi.
Police said Shigri was targeted because he was from the minority Shiite muslim group and Sheikh because he was a member of the Ahmadi sect.
“Both of these are targeted killings, it seems these have been carried out by the same group of attackers,” Raja Umar Khitab, a senior official at the Counter Terrorism Department, told Agence France-Presse.
The local superintendent of police also confirmed the killings and their sectarian link.
Pakistan has been hit by frequent sectarian violence in recent years, with the Taliban and other militant groups regularly targeting Christian, Sikhs, Hindus, Ahmadi and Shiite communities.
Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city which is also a major business and industrial hub, is rife with political, sectarian and ethnic militancy, and thousands have been killed as law enforcement agencies remain on their toes to keep calm.
A strategic operation in the city by security forces in recent years has brought a considerable lull in violence but scattered attacks still take place.