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Oct 20, 2007 at 11:51pm IST

Violence continues in Karachi post-blasts

Karachi: Three days after the bomb blasts which rocked Karachi, sporadic instances of violence and tensions have erupted in the tense port city.

Random incidents were reported from Safoora Goth, University Road, Sachal Goth, Mauripur Road and Gadap area. Angry PPP supporters bearing the party’s red, black and green standard burnt tyres and pelted stones at shops, causing immense traffic snarls.

A group of protesters torched a car in Patel para. Protesters also attempted to set fire to a petrol pump and stoned a KFC outlet in south Karachi.

KARACHI TORN: Violence gripped Karachi in the aftermath of the bomb blasts

Superintendent of Police, Fayyaz Khan, said that the trouble began when some people who were said to be PPP supporters tried to force shops to close down, during the three-day mourning period announced by the PPP.

14 people have also been reported injured in Karachi’s Lyari town, which is a stronghold for Benazir’s Pakistan Peoples Party.

"The police confronted these miscreants who fired upon them. Afterwards, firing started from other quarters, which left 14 of the miscreants injured," Khan said.

Protests by PPP workers were also reported from cities and towns like Larkana, Thatta, Hyderabad and Saeedabad in Sindh province, which has traditionally been a stronghold of the party. Courts were also boycotted.

Many petrol pump owners shut down their pumps as a precautionary measure after protestors tried to burn down a pump that had been operating despite the PPP's call for a three-day mourning period. Karachi residents were hit hard by the closure of most of the 300 pumps in the city, which resulted in public transport going off the roads.

Meanwhile, Benazir has been closeted in her family home Bilawal House, with her aides. Security has been considerably stepped up around her home. In light of the blasts and its aftermath, the PPP president has deferred her visit to her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s tomb in Larkana.

PPP spokesperson Sherry Rehman said, “The mourning will end on Sunday and then she (Benazir) will decide her plans.”