Pakistan: death toll rises in political violence

Street fighting in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city, left at least 39 dead over the weekend, as competing rallies timed for a visit by suspended chief justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry exploded into violence. Fighting spread to neighborhoods dominated by rival ethnic groups, keeping Chaudhry trapped at the airport until he finally returned to Islamabad. Firefighters were called after a funeral procession for a man killed in the clashes left a row of shops in flames. The fighting pitted ethnic Pashtuns against Urdu-speaking supporters of the pro-government Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). (The Guardian, May 14)

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