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Death toll in Karachi violence rises to 78

By the CNN Wire Staff
A plain-clothed Pakistani policeman retreats from gunfire in the eastern neighborhood of Karachi on August 4, 2010.
A plain-clothed Pakistani policeman retreats from gunfire in the eastern neighborhood of Karachi on August 4, 2010.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The number of wounded rises to 168
  • Politician among those killed Monday
  • The gunman also killed the politician's bodyguard
RELATED TOPICS

(CNN) -- The death toll rose to 78 on Thursday in the widespread violence that broke out after the killing of a provincial lawmaker in southern Pakistan.

The number of wounded rose to 168, said Rafiq Gul, deputy superintendent of Karachi police.

Syed Raza Haider, a leader of the MQM party, was shot Monday evening at a mosque in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi.

Haider was attending the funeral of a relative, Gul said. The gunman also killed the politician's bodyguard.

The politician's death triggered political and ethnic violence in the city, as mobs set fire to vehicles and gunfire erupted.

Gul said 48 vehicles, eight shops and several gas stations were set ablaze in the mayhem.

The MQM is part of the ruling coalition backing President Asif Ali Zardari's Pakistan People's Party.