KARACHI: Activists of a key political party clashed with police and ransacked a private television station in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi on Monday, leaving at least one man dead and seven others injured.
The violence erupted soon after the influential party’s exiled chief, stoked up his supporters in the city, castigating the media for not giving them due coverage.
His activists, who had just ended a week-long hunger strike against a government crackdown against them, attacked the ARY station after the leader addressed them by phone from self-imposed exile in London.
Political workers also clashed with police on the streets, sparking volleys of gunshots and tear gas at several places across the city, police and witnesses said.
“We have carried out teargas shelling to disperse the mob, who were trying to attack a television office,” senior police officer Saqib Ismail said.
One unidentified man was killed and seven others injured, two with gunshot wounds, according to hospital officials.
“One was brought (to the hospital) dead, who was shot with a gun,” Dr Seemi Jamali, the director at a state-run hospital told AFP.
Three of the injured belonged to media organisations, she said.
Television footage showed dozens of men and women barging into ARY’s office, smashing doors, windows and equipment with rods and batons and setting fire to several vehicles.
The influential political party and its apex leadership is accused of using extortion and murder to cement its grip on power — has long been blamed for ethnic violence in Karachi.
It has clashed repeatedly with authorities who, say rights groups, have resorted to hundreds of extra-judicial killings during a “clean-up” operation that began in 2013 in a city already plagued by violence. -AFP