Pakistani troops search homes in Karachi crackdown

January 18, 2011 12:07
1 minute read.

KARACHI, Pakistan  — Pakistani paramilitary troops went house to house rounding up dozens of men in a restive neighborhood Tuesday as part of a crackdown on soaring violence in Pakistan's largest city.

The operation in the Orangi Town neighborhood came after a week of targeted killings that left more than 40 people dead in Karachi, a city of 18 million people and a long history of ethnic, religious and other violence, much of it believed linked to major political parties.

But it was unclear how serious the crackdown by the Army Rangers really was, or whether it would have any long-term impact.

Orangi Town, a city on Karachi's western side, was the focus Tuesday because it was the worst hit during the recent spate of violence. Some 15 people, including several political activists, fell prey to unknown gunmen in the past week.

Around 1,500 paramilitary troops cordoned off part of the neighborhood and conducted house to house searches, said Army Rangers' spokesman, Maj. Farooq Bilal. Media were not allowed into the neighborhood.

"This operation will go on until the objectives are achieved — there is no time limit," Bilal said. "We have detained some people who will go through a screening process."

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