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Thousands rally in Pakistan's Karachi as party chief held

Published on Jun 3, 2014 11:48 PM

KARACHI (AFP) - The powerful exiled leader of Pakistan's MQM party, Altaf Hussain, was arrested in London on Tuesday on suspicion of money-laundering as thousands of people in his home city of Karachi staged a sit-in calling for his release.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has its power base in the violence-wracked city, Pakistan's largest, which it controls with an iron fist.

Hussain's arrest, confirmed by MQM officials in London, has sparked fears of a violent backlash there.

British police said only that a 60-year-old man whom they did not name had been detained at a residential address in northwest London on suspicion of money-laundering. It said officers were searching the building.

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