At least 31 people, including members of the minority Shia community, have been killed in various incidents of target killings in Pakistan’s commercial city of Karachi and Balochistan’s capital Quetta.

Eight people died on Sunday in Karachi while 23 others lost their lives on Saturday, including three from the Shia Hazara community who were shot dead in Quetta, local media reported.

A father and son were gunned down by unidentified men in Orangi Town area of Karachi, while the body of another person was found beneath the Banaras Bridge in the city, police said.

One more person was gunned down in Metroville area while another body with bullet marks was found from Sarrafa Bazaar at Mithadar in Karachi, Geo News reported.

Earlier in a firing incident in Liaquatabad, two persons, including son of a slain Intelligence Bureau officer, were killed. Another person died in violence elsewhere in Karachi on Sunday.

Sindh police chief Fayyaz Legahri said the sectarian strife has witnessed an increase in the city in recent times.

Firing and and other violent incidents in the city yesterday claimed 20 lives, including that of a police officer and some madrassa students.

The killings come at a time when an International Defence Exhibition is being held at the Expo Centre in the city, where Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is also present with a high-level delegation as part of his week-long Pakistan tour.

Most of the killings yesterday were carried out by motorcycle-borne gunmen, notwithstanding the Sindh provincial government’s ban on pillion riding.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said at the National Assembly, lower house of Parliament, on Saturday that a total of 1,363 people had lost their lives in Karachi at the hands of target killers during the past five years.

He said 104 people were killed in year 2008, 160 in 2009, 373 in 2010, 478 in 2011 and 248 so far in 2012.

However, independent organisations, including the Human Rights commission of Pakistan, put the figure of those killed this year at a much higher level.

In the first 10 days of November itself around 100 people have been killed in the city, they said.

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