Karachi: Pakistan's financial hub shut down completely on Tuesday, along with other areas of Sindh province, answering an MQM call for a day of mourning and protest against the raging political-ethnic violence that has claimed 19 lives over the past two days.
   
Five more people were found dead in the country's biggest city that has been a centre of unabated violence in which as many as 200 people have been killed this month.
   
Hardly any public transport was visible on the roads and even private vehicles were few as all shopping centres, markets and educational institutions remained shut.    Attendance in offices was also sparse as businesses remained closed in response to a bandh call by Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
   
MQM activists clad in black, hoisted black flags on buildings and squares and scenes of protests and tyre-burning were seen in different areas of Hyderabad and other interior areas of Sindh. Heavy firing was also reported from some parts of Karachi.
   
"We opened but shut down after a while as the situation is tense and there are no customers to deal with," a manager at a branch of a leading bank said in the city's main business centre, I I Chundrigar road.
   
Petrol pumps and gas dealers associations also supported the MQM call, which was also being backed by other smaller religious and political parties.
   
Police said five people had been killed overnight in separate incidents of firing and torture talking the toll since Sunday night to 19.
   
A man was shot dead at the old vegetable market, while police found two bodies stuffed in gunny bags near Qasba Chowrangi and in the Gharibabad area.

(Agencies)