Islamabad, Jan 16 (Agencies): A partial curfew will be imposed in parts of Pakistan's financial hub of Karachi to facilitate operations aimed at ending a surge in ethnic and political violence that has claimed nearly 30 lives, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Sunday.

Malik said a "semi-curfew" would be imposed in parts of Karachi to facilitate operations against those involved in a spate of targeted killings.

He was speaking to reporters at the Karachi airport after chairing a series of meetings to finalise a plan of action to end violence in the southern port city.

Officials said security agencies would decide the duration of curfew to be imposed in parts of Karachi.

Operations will be launched on the basis of intelligence reports and police and paramilitary forces have drawn up lists of persons wanted for targeted killings.

Special teams have been formed to trace illegal arms caches and police commandos will be dropped in sensitive areas by helicopters for quick action against criminals, the officials said.

Residents were asked to carry their ID cards at all times to ensure they do not face problems in areas where curfew is imposed.

Malik chaired a meeting that was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and officials of the police department and security agencies to frame an action plan to end the violence.

Shah said helicopters would be used to mount surveillance over the city while Malik said a ban would be imposed on pillion riding on two-wheelers.

Several recent attacks have been carried out by motorcycle-borne gunmen.

The latest spell of violence since Thursday has left nearly 30 dead, including a reporter of the Geo News channel and a former deputy mayor.

Much of the violence has been blamed on rivalry between groups representing Urdu-speaking people and a growing number of Pashtuns in Karachi.

The Urdu-speakers traditionally back the Muttahida Qaumi Movement while the Pashtuns support the Awami National Party.

Both political parties are members of the Pakistan People's Party-led coalitions at the centre and in Sindh.

Interior Minister Malik claimed a "third force" was trying to engineer a split between the PPP, MQM and ANP.

He did not identify these elements. "We are not going to spare (the terrorists)," he said. There was consensus among the MQM, ANP and PPP to expose forces behind the targeted killings in Karachi, he said.

"Our coalition partners, including MQM chief Altaf Hussain and ANP leader Asfandyar Wali are deeply concerned and there is consensus to expose the elements hatching conspiracies against the government," he added.