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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 June 2006, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Top Karachi jail official killed
Bloodstained car after attack
The shooting took place at traffic lights
Unidentified gunmen have killed a senior prison official and four others in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, police say.

Karachi central jail deputy chief Amanullah Khan Niazi died when assailants on motorcycles sprayed his vehicle with bullets in a busy street.

Three policemen and a civilian were also killed in the attack, police said.

"It appears to be a targeted killing," senior police official Sanaullah Abbasi told Reuters news agency.

Suddenly firing started and I ducked down to save myself
Injured policeman Mohammad Waris

Witnesses said the car carrying the policemen was peppered with bullet holes, and there were pools of blood on the seats and the dashboard, AFP news agency reported.

Six people were injured, two critically. Three of those hurt were policemen, the authorities say.

Doctors at Karachi's Civil Hospital confirmed receiving five bodies after the attack, the agency added.

'Enemies'

Police say at least four gunmen on two motorcycles fired at Mr Niazi and police officers in a separate car as they were waiting at traffic lights near a popular central electronics market.

The attackers escaped - it is not clear who they might have been. No group has said it carried out the killings.

Amanullah Khan Niazi had served as deputy jail superintendent of the notorious central jail in the port city for several years.

According to crime reporters he had many enemies in the city's underworld, the BBC's Aamer Ahmed Khan in Karachi says.

Mr Niazi was loathed and feared by inmates, whom he was accused of mistreating.

Karachi, Pakistan's commercial capital and most populous city, has a history of sectarian, criminal and ethnic violence.

In recent years, Islamist groups who oppose America and the government's pro-US policies have also launched attacks.

The bloodiest recent incident was a suicide bombing at a Sunni Muslim gathering which left more than 50 people dead.


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