KARACHI, May 10,2013 (ZAFAR AHMED KHAN / UPI Next) — Politicians and analysts are voicing concern about the security situation in Karachi, one of Pakistan’s major economic hubs, as political parties gear up for Saturday’s general elections.
Campaign events and party offices were the targets of at least nine bomb blasts across Karachi between April 23 and May 3, police say. The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militant group is blamed for the attacks, in which more than 31 political activists have been killed and 161 injured.
Violence has long been a feature of elections in Karachi but observers are worried by the city’s current situation. Tehreek-e-Taliban is “taking advantage of ethnic, political and gang-war violence,” Zia Ur Rehman, a security analyst based in Karachi, told UPI Next.
The Taliban “has organized its network in Karachi and is following the strategy of its central leadership based in Waziristan. Karachi militants have also intensified their attacks on liberal political parties,” he said.