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PPP party workers arrested in Pakistan

world Updated: Nov 11, 2007 19:13 IST

AFP
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Pakistani police on Sunday rounded up about 250 supporters of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in the southern city of Karachi to derail protests against emergency rule, officials said.

Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party had planned a series of rallies in Karachi and other cities in Sindh province to galvanise opposition to President Pervez Musharraf's state of emergency.

Police official Mohammad Jehanzeb told AFP that at least 250 party workers had been picked up in Karachi.

Among them were its parliamentary leader Raza Rabbani and provincial chief Syed Qaim Ali Shah, PPP spokesman Jameel Soomro said.

Police sealed venues where the rallies were to be held and arrested those who turned up before they could assemble.

"Our struggle will continue," Raza Rabbani shouted before being shoved into a police van.

Those arrested also included more than 20 women who were chanting slogans such as "Down with emergency rule" and "Prime Minister Benazir."

Soomro said police arrested another 500 PPP workers from across the Sindh province, but police confirmed only 100 such arrests.

Soomro said four workers when police opened fire on protesters in the town of Jamshoro, but officials said shots were only fired into the air to disperse the crowd.

Bhutto is spearheading opposition to Musharraf's emergency rule, and plans to lead a march Tuesday from the eastern city of Lahore to Islamabad.