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Death Toll From Street Battles in Karachi Rises to 38

  • VOA News

Pakistani authorities say at least 38 people have been killed and 130 wounded in two days of street clashes between opposition and government supporters in Karachi.

At least two people were killed Sunday as gunshots rang out in several city neighborhoods.

Streets in other parts of Karachi were deserted as security forces increased patrols to restore order. Pakistani officials say paramilitary troops are authorized to shoot anyone involved in rioting or violence.

Most of the 38 victims were killed in street battles on Saturday. The clashes are considered the worst political violence seen in Pakistan in years.

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf appealed Saturday for an end to the fighting. He said he would not declare a state of emergency.

Clashes began early Saturday when pro-government activists tried to stop opposition groups from gathering in Karachi to support suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.

General Musharraf suspended Chaudhry in March on charges of official misconduct.

The Pakistani president's removal of Chaudhry sparked outrage among Pakistan's judiciary and opposition parties, and triggered a series of protests nationwide.
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