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Slain Bhutto's supporters take anger to the streets

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.reuters.com/article/gc04/idUSSP30253320071227?sp=true Slain Bhutto s supporters take anger to the streets Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:39am EST ISLAMABAD
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 2007
      http://www.reuters.com/article/gc04/idUSSP30253320071227?sp=true

      Slain Bhutto's supporters take anger to the streets
      Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:39am EST

      ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan put its paramilitary
      forces on "red alert" across the country on Thursday
      after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir
      Bhutto sparked violent protests by her supporters.

      President Pervez Musharraf denounced what he called a
      terrorist attack and appealed for calm after angry
      backers of the slain former prime minister took to the
      streets across Pakistan, from the Himalayas to the
      southern coast.

      The unrest was predictably fiercest in her native
      Sindh province and its capital, Karachi.

      "Police in Sindh have been put on red alert," said a
      senior police official. "We have increased deployment
      and are patrolling in all the towns and cities, as
      there is trouble almost everywhere."

      Reports said security was deteriorating in Karachi,
      where thousands poured on to the streets to protest.
      At least three banks, a government office and a post
      office were set on fire, a witness said.

      Tires were set on fire on many roads, and shooting and
      stone-throwing was reported in many places. Most shops
      and markets in the city shut down.

      At least 20 vehicles were torched in the central Sindh
      town of Hyderabad.

      There were also small protests in Rawalpindi and the
      nearby capital, Islamabad.

      Protesters blocked roads with burning tyres and
      chanted slogans against President Pervez Musharraf in
      Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Kashmir in the
      mountainous north.

      Police said they had been ordered to block the main
      road between Punjab province and Sindh province,
      apparently to stop the movement of protesters.

      Disturbances were also reported in the southeastern
      city of Multan, although details were sketchy. In the
      eastern city of Lahore, Bhutto party workers burnt
      three buses and damaged several other vehicles, police
      said.

      Trouble was reported from the interior of Sindh
      province, including the Bhutto ancestral home at
      Larkana, police said.

      "The situation is not good in the interior of Sindh. A
      large number of people have come out on the roads in
      many cities to protest," said senior police official
      Fayyaz Leghari.

      (Editing by Roger Crabb)
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