Gilgit violence toll rises to eight
20 July 2005
Gilgit: Tension and panic heightened in Gilgit and suburbs on Wednesday when unidentified gunmen shot dead three people, including a union council chairman, taking the toll of the fresh spate of violence to eight. Police said Rajab Ali, 55, chairman of Nagar Union Council, was shot dead by unknown assailants at Babar Road. A taxi driver, Habibur Rahman, resident of Sonikote, was found murdered in his taxi in Didingdas, 15km east of Gilgit. The news spread in the city, triggering fresh clashes in Sonikote and a 22-year-old young man, Arif Hussain, resident of Nagar valley, was sprayed with bullets by unknown assailants when he was taking rest near the bank of Gilgit River. The clashes forced shopkeepers and businessmen to shut down their shops and within no time the city wore a deserted look. Except a few women pedestrians almost all the people abandoned roads, streets and markets. Police said another pedestrian from Nagar valley was fired upon and injured by unknown miscreants on the River View Road soon after clashes occurred in Sonikote. He has been shifted to the DHQ hospital Gilgit where his condition is out of danger. Huge contingents of police and rangers have been dispatched to the troubled areas of Sonikote and Kashroot to quell unrest, the sources said. Gilgit plunged into fresh chaos following the murder of four passengers on Sunday night in Gonar Farm while travelling on the Karakoram Highway. Nobody has been arrested in connection with the incident. Over 30 people have been killed, including a top religious leader, since January 8 in sectarian-related violence in the city and its suburbs.