Daily brief: Karachi violence claims nearly 100 lives

Escalation The death toll in Karachi’s newest round of violence has reportedly claimed more than 90 lives since Tuesday, as security forces in the city have been given orders to shoot gunmen on sight (ET, BBC, DT, Dawn, AP, Reuters, ET, Times, BBC, DT, Tel, AJE, CNN). Much of the city was quiet after the ...

ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images
ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images
ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images

Escalation

The death toll in Karachi's newest round of violence has reportedly claimed more than 90 lives since Tuesday, as security forces in the city have been given orders to shoot gunmen on sight (ET, BBC, DT, Dawn, AP, Reuters, ET, Times, BBC, DT, Tel, AJE, CNN). Much of the city was quiet after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) called for a day of mourning today, though they canceled a planned protest rally amidst fears of greater violence (Dawn, DT, Dawn, Dawn, Dawn). Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik announced the deployment Thursday of 1,000 paramilitary Frontier Corps personnel to help quell the violence (ET, AFP). Bonus read: Bilal Baloch, "Karachi's violence and the war in Afghanistan" (FP).

Reports indicate that American intelligence agencies have finally concluded that terrorist commander Ilyas Kashmiri was killed in a drone strike June 3 in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal agency (LAT, Reuters, CNN). And the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen told reporters Thursday that he believed Pakistan had "sanctioned" the death of journalist Saleem Shahzad, the first U.S. official to make the accusation openly (NYT, AP, AFP, CNN, DT, ABC, Reuters, Dawn). Pakistan's state-run news agency quoted an anonymous Pakistani official who called the statement "extremely irresponsible" (AP, AFP).

Escalation

The death toll in Karachi’s newest round of violence has reportedly claimed more than 90 lives since Tuesday, as security forces in the city have been given orders to shoot gunmen on sight (ET, BBC, DT, Dawn, AP, Reuters, ET, Times, BBC, DT, Tel, AJE, CNN). Much of the city was quiet after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) called for a day of mourning today, though they canceled a planned protest rally amidst fears of greater violence (Dawn, DT, Dawn, Dawn, Dawn). Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik announced the deployment Thursday of 1,000 paramilitary Frontier Corps personnel to help quell the violence (ET, AFP). Bonus read: Bilal Baloch, "Karachi’s violence and the war in Afghanistan" (FP).

Reports indicate that American intelligence agencies have finally concluded that terrorist commander Ilyas Kashmiri was killed in a drone strike June 3 in Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal agency (LAT, Reuters, CNN). And the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen told reporters Thursday that he believed Pakistan had "sanctioned" the death of journalist Saleem Shahzad, the first U.S. official to make the accusation openly (NYT, AP, AFP, CNN, DT, ABC, Reuters, Dawn). Pakistan’s state-run news agency quoted an anonymous Pakistani official who called the statement "extremely irresponsible" (AP, AFP).

Pakistani, Afghan, and U.S. officials met Thursday to try and defuse tensions along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, as Dawn reports that NATO fired 16 mortar rounds into North Waziristan, and the Tribune looks at the relationship between the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban (AFP, Reuters, AFP, Dawn, ET).

Rounding out today’s news, Pakistani operations against militants continue in Kurram agency, while the country’s army is reportedly urging the civilian government to take over maintaining security in the Swat Valley, which the army reclaimed from militants in 2009 (ET, Dawn, ET). And a strike has been declared in Baluchistan after four Baluch nationalists were found dead Wednesday (ET).

Owning up

NATO on Thursday took responsibility for killing up to 13 civilians in a bombing raid that took place Wednesday morning in the eastern Khost province, as protests against civilian casualties broke out in Khost and Ghazni province, the site of two alleged civilian air strike deaths (Post, NYT, Tel, BBC, Times, DT). And CNN reports on the fight against militants in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces of Kunar and Nuristan (CNN).

The court martial began yesterday for U.S. Army Sgt. Darren Jones, who stands accused of beating a soldier to allegedly keep him from telling investigators that members of Jones’ unit had killed several Afghans for "sport" (AP, CNN, Reuters). In a separate legal action, the U.S. security contractor ArmorGroup, which was at one point contracted to provide security for the U.S. embassy in Kabul, will pay a $7.5 million settlement in a lawsuit with the government over charges that ArmorGroup guards visited brothels in Kabul with the knowledge of company leaders (AFP, ABC, CBS, AP).

Finally, Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan officially ended today, though 950 Canadian trainers have begun arriving in the country to bolster Afghanistan’s security forces (Tel, AP).

Beating the heat

The Tribune reports that "transgender persons" have been handing out fans in a hospital in the city of Sukkur, in Pakistan’s Sindh province, as the city copes with frequent power outages (ET). Sukkur and surrounding areas have had to deal with 12-hour power outages due to electricity shortages.

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