Dozens killed in Pakistan protests

Paramilitary officers given "shoot on sight" orders to quell demonstrators.

    Local officials predict the violence will continue [AFP]
    Among the deadly incidents in Sindh province, six people were burnt to death in a leather factory in Karachi when it was set it ablaze, police said. 

    It was not known if the victims were counted in an official death toll from the violence of 32.

    Elsewhere a policeman was killed in the Jacobabad area of Sindh when about 1,500 people stormed a police station and set it on fire.

    Worsening situation 

    Meanwhile, a remote-controlled bomb in the Swat Valley killed eight people, including a local political ally of  Pervez Musharraf, the president.

    One person was reported to have been killed in violence in the province of Punjab.

    In Islamabad, the capital, about 100 protesters burned tyres in a commercial area of the city.

    Ten railway stations and several trains across Sindh were also burned.

    This forced the suspension of all train services between Karachi, the capital of Sindh, and the province of Punjab, according to Mir Mohammed Khaskheli, a senior rail road official.

    Khaskheli also said one section of the track leading to the border with India was uprooted.

    Shoot on sight

    The government has ordered paramilitary forces, or rangers, to shoot on sight those engaged in the disturbances in Karachi.

    Violence  engulfed several Pakistani
    provinces following the killing [Reuters]

    "Paramilitary rangers have been given orders to shoot on sight if they see miscreants indulging in anti-state activities," Major Athar Ali, a spokesman for the force, said.

    The force reportedly includes 16,000 rangers deployed across Sindh, with 10,000 in Karachi alone.

    Troops were also sent to the cities of Larkana, Sukkur, Shahdad Kot and Rohri in Sindh.

    Major-General Waheed Arshad, a Pakistani military spokesman, said: "Troops have been pre-positioned in these cities.

    "Troops will remain present in these cities and assist local authorities in case of any eventuality."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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