08/08/2011, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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A 38-year-old man dies in targeted killing in Karachi

Gunmen shot Arnold Archie Dass in cold blood. The attack occurred in a formerly Christian enclave. For decades, Muslims have been moving into the area and buying up homes and land, pushing out Christians. Karachi is Pakistan’s murder capital: 800 people have been murdered in the first seven months of 2011.
Karachi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Pakistan’s Christian community has been the victim of another targeted killing. On Saturday, Arnold Archie Dass, 38, was gunned down on Drigh Road, in an old Christian colony, in Karachi, capital of Sindh Province, where violence has already claimed the lives of 800 people in the first seven months of the year. The victim was getting into his car to go home from work. Local sources say a group of gunmen opened fire in front of dozens of witnesses.

Arnold Dass was mortally wounded to the chess, dying as he was rushed to a hospital. At the same time, the group of Islamic extremists who carried out the attack left the scene undisturbed after checking that their target would not survive.

Until the 1970s, Drigh Road was a Christian colony, built by Catholics employed at the nearby Air Force base. It was meant to be an area for Pakistan’s minority Christians. However, with the expansion of Karachi International Airport, land values rose exponentially, making it attractive to rich Muslim landowners and real estate developers.

Beginning in the early 1980s, Christians have become the target of violent attacks. Many families were forced to sell their homes for a pittance. In a few years, Muslims have taken over the old Christian enclave.

Following Arnold Dass’s murder, police opened a file against persons unknown. However, the victim’s relatives complain that the police refused to find the names of the gunmen despite the presence of dozens of witnesses.

Karachi is Pakistan’s biggest city as well as its most dangerous. A recent survey indicated that 800 people were murdered in the first seven months of this year in sectarian and political violence, including targeted killings and large-scale attacks.
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