Karachi, August 29: Political and ethnic violence has escalated in Karachi. Over 300 people were killed in July 2011 and over 250 people lost their lives in a mix of gang war and political violence in the first three weeks of August. Residents of Karachi are nervous and angry at the government's failure to contain the growing violence. A city of more than 18 million, Karachi has a long history of violence, ethnic, religious and sectarian disputes. Political rows can often explode into battles engulfing entire neighbourhoods. Fighting erupted on August 17 in and around the old district of Lyari, long a focus of battles between rival gangs and a stronghold of President Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People's Party (PPP).