Two politically opposed groups in Karachi, Pakistan, opened fire on each other Saturday as a suspended member of President Pervez Musharraf’s administration, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was arriving in Karachi. The BBC reported that 34 were killed in the gunfire and 120 injured, and that Chaudhry was forced to return to Islamabad.
Opposition groups blamed the pro-Musharraf MQM party of organising the unrest, but it denied the claim.
Since his suspension on charges of “misuse of authority”, Mr Chaudhry has become the focus of widespread opposition to the government of Mr Musharraf, who took power in a coup in 1999.
The BBC’s Barbara Plett in Islamabad says opposition parties have turned Mr Chaudhry’s case into a campaign against military rule.
His supporters say that Mr Musharraf wants the judiciary headed by a lawyer whom he can more easily manipulate.