Huma Imtiaz
London Guardian
August 3, 2010

An uneasy calm reigned in the Pakistani city of Karachi tonight after the assassination of a senior politician triggered city-wide riots that left 45 people dead and more than 100 wounded.

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Buildings and vehicles were set ablaze and angry mobs surged through the streets of the country’s largest city after Raza Haider, an MP with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was killed in a gangland-style hit on Monday night.

The violence underscored bubbling ethnic and political tensions in Karachi, a sprawling seaside metropolis that is home to 16 million people and Pakistan’s most important port, banks and stock exchange.

Four assailants gunned down Haider, who is a parliamentarian in the Sindh assembly, in a city mosque during a funeral service. Anarchy gripped the city over the following hours as gunmen swarmed through the streets, seeking revenge.

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