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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pakistan: 21 Dead in Wave Of Violence

KARACHI, Pakistan -- At least 21 people were killed Thursday in Pakistan's port city of Karachi in a fresh wave of violence which authorities called revenge killings.

The violence followed Wednesday's killing of four militants of the ethnic Mohajir National Movement, or MQM, including Farooq Dada, whom the authorities described as the head of a terrorist squad.

"We have been expecting reaction to Farooq Dada. These are cowardly acts, which terrorists usually do," Interior Minister Naseerullah Babar said of Thursday's killings.

Subdivisional magistrate Mohammad Nawaz Khushk, son of a prominent landowner of Sindh province, and his guard were ambushed and killed at Gulshen-e-Iqbal in the volatile east district, Babar said. Karachi is the Sindh capital. Other deaths were reported from west, central and south districts.

The bodies of 12 men were found in a minibus parked near a college in the Orangi Town area, police said. The men were blindfolded and each were killed by a single bullet in the back of the head, witnesses said. The police said that in another incident, unidentified gunmen raided a house and killed a father and his three young children.

The fresh violence comes after several days of comparative calm in Karachi as official sources said the government was trying to resume peace talks with the MQM. Negotiations broke down Monday when the MQM boycotted a session, accusing the government of sidetracking major issues and showing insensitivity to some of the party's immediate demands.