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Pakistani troops raid major political party HQ

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 00:44

Pakistani paramilitary raids the headquarters of a major political party in Karachi, recovering weapons and arresting suspects wanted for several crimes. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION The Pakistani paramilitary raided the headquarters of a major political party on Wednesday (March 11), officials say, in the country's biggest city Karachi. The troops recovered weapons and arrested suspects wanted for several crimes, including the murder of a journalist. The Sindh Rangers launched the raid on the headquarters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in the violent southern port city of Karachi, home to 18 million people, where the party has a stranglehold on politics. SOUNDBITE (English) SPOKESMAN OF MUTTAHIDA QAUMI MOVEMENT (MQM) PARTY, WASAY JALIL, SAYING: "Today, at 5:00 a.m. this morning, Rangers raided Muttahida Qaumi Movement's head office 9-0 and its public secretariat which is known as Khursheed Begum secretariat and arrested dozens of workers from here." Jalil added that one man was killed by the Rangers' gunfire. A leader of MQM said a cameramen from Express TV was also wounded. A Rangers colonel said the raid was not politically motivated, but in response to a lead suggesting wanted men were in the building. Although MQM members have been arrested before, there has not been an incursion into the party's heavily defended headquarters since the military raided it in 1992. MQM's opponents say the party engages in extortion and frequently kills opposition activists. The MQM denies the allegations, saying its own party workers are targeted by others. Angry protesters burnt tyres and many businesses closed down fearing violence. Karachi is home to many militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban. Many political parties there have armed wings to fight turf wars.

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Pakistani troops raid major political party HQ

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 00:44