Scores Dead Ahead of Pakistan Rallies… Shootout in Karachi!

At least 27 are dead ahead of rallies in Pakistan today in at least 7 locations in Karachi.

Mobs also torched a police post, four buses and dozens of other vehicles.
The BBC has video from Karachi, HERE.

An unidentified gunman in Karachi. Rival political workers fought intense gunbattles ahead of huge rallies by Pakistan’s suspended top judge and President Pervez Musharraf, leaving 15 people dead and scores more injured.(AFP/AAJ TV/HO)

Scores are dead from violence in Pakistan ahead of a planned rally against the government:

Pakistan’s top judge, suspended from his job by President Pervez Musharraf, has arrived in violence-hit Karachi for an anti-government rally.
Twelve people died in clashes ahead of the rally, which Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry plans to address.

Rival political activists exchanged gunfire, and vehicles were set on fire as 15,000 troops patrolled the city, with many streets blocked off.

Mr Chaudhry was suspended in March, but he denies any abuse of power.

Since his suspension, Mr Chaudhry has become the focus of widespread opposition to the government of President Musharraf, who took power in a coup in 1999.

Mr Chaudhry’s supporters say that President Musharraf wants the judiciary headed by a lawyer whom he can more easily manipulate.

For Your Information: These aren’t democracy rallies!

Pakistani opposition parties activists pass by burning vehicles in Karachi. Rival political workers have fought intense gunbattles ahead of huge rallies by Pakistan’s suspended top judge and President Pervez Musharraf, leaving 15 people dead and 45 injured.(AFP/Aamir Qureshi)

Activists from rival parties are fighting it out on the streets:

An AFP photographer at the scene of the biggest clash said workers from the pro-Musharraf Muttahida Qaumi Movement exchanged gunfire for an hour with activists from exiled former premier Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party.

“Our people were attacked from several sides. They are surrounded, they are besieged and several are injured but there are no ambulances to take them to hospital,” People’s Party spokesman Sherry Rahman said.

An MQM spokesman said four of its workers had been killed across the city.

Earlier, gunmen on motorbikes shot dead two activists from the party of another former premier, Nawaz Sharif, as they put up posters welcoming Chaudhry.

The Karachi police chief says that there are many areas where injured people are lying in the road and ambulances cannot reach there.- AFP

Pakistani suspended chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry surrounded by supporters in Islamabad en route to Karachi where he was to address a public rally. Opposition parties supporting the chief justice and pro-Musharraf activists were exchanging gunfire in seven locations in Pakistan.(AFP/Farooq Naeem)


A car sits burning during a gun battle between two rival groups in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 12, 2007. (AP)

Pakistan is ready to declare state of emergency.

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