Fresh Karachi violence leaves 44 dead in three days

KARACHI - Fresh political and ethnicviolence gripped Pakistan's commercial capital over the pastthree days, leaving up to 44 people dead and taking the deathtoll for July to 339, city police said on Monday.

Most of the weekend's casualties were reported in the city'seastern Malir, Landhi and adjoining areas, a multi-ethnic,lower middle class neighborhood.

"We have identified the people and at least 200 policecommandos will be dispatched to search and arrest these people,"said Naeem Boroka, a senior police official in Karachi's easternarea.

Police said there was no clear reason for the latest bout offighting. The city, home to more than 18 million people, has along history of ethnic, religious and sectarian violence andlocal quarrels and political disputes can often explode intobattles engulfing entire districts.

The areas affected are home to both Pashtuns and Muhajirs,the descendents of Urdu-speaking refugees who fled India tosettle in Karachi in 1947 following the sub-continent'spartition.

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