Pakistan witnessed its first round of violence over the anti-Islam film on Sunday when protesters clashed with the police on being prevented from proceeding towards the U.S. consulate in Karachi. The protests resulted in the death of one person in police firing.

Trouble broke out around 6 p.m. after another quiet day of protests in several parts of the country when a rally organised by the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) insisted on going to the consulate to submit a memorandum. Police refused to grant them permission and warned the protesters that they would resort to containment measures in case the MWM proceeded any further.

This apparently angered the protesters and as they moved forward the police used tear gas, water canons and aerial firing to disperse the crowd. Over an hour of pitched battle ensued with the protesters pelting stones at the police. In the melee, some members of MWM managed to get through the huge containers — used to ferry shipment overland — that had been placed around the consulate to barricade it. However, the police managed to round up the few who got through that fortification.

Meanwhile, as reports came in of one MWM activist succumbing to his injuries in hospital, the protesters picketed the area and agreed to relocate to another place to continue with their protests only on the intervention of their organisation’s leadership

The violence drew instant condemnation online with one member of Pakistan’s tweeting community observing: “Jealous of the carnage in Cairo, Tunis & Sana, Pakistan's radical right wing has finally managed to get someone killed over the film. Shame.”

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