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Pakistan lawyers clash in Karachi over Niazi beating

[JURIST] Opposing groups of Pakistani lawyers clashed with each other in the city of Karachi Wednesday, prompting widespread rioting that led to at least seven deaths. Lawyers supporting Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf who gathered to protest the Tuesday lawyers' beating in Lahore [JURIST report] of former Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan Niazi were confronted after their meeting by anti-Musharraf lawyers; fighting broke out near the city's main court complex which then spread to other areas. Most of the dead were killed when they were trapped in a nearby building containing some lawyers' offices that was set ablaze. A local bar association office was gutted.

New Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani immediately denounced the violence, which Musharraf supporters quickly blamed on the lawyers movement pressing for reinstatement of superior court judges dismissed when Musharraf proclaimed emergency rule in the country last November. Niazi was instrumental in the dismissals. AP has more. From Pakistan, the News has local coverage.

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