Rape and murder sparks riot in Pakistan's Karachi

KARACHI (AFP) - At least one man was killed and several injured in Pakistan's biggest city Karachi on Tuesday (April 17) when a riot broke out in protest at the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl.

Crowds took to the streets after the body of the victim was discovered late on Monday, blocking a main road in the western suburb of Orangi Town in western Karachi where they hurled stones at riot police.

"One man has died because of a gunshot," said Aamir Farooqi, the police chief in the district. "We are investigating whose bullet caused that death." A second police official confirmed the figure.

Relatives of the girl and hundreds of residents were angry over what they say has been police laxity in the case. A medical report said the child had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

As the demonstration boiled over, police fired in the air over the crowd and attacked demonstrators with batons.

Two protesters suffering from gunshot wounds were brought to nearby Abbasi Shaheed hospital, where one died later.

Another senior police officer said 10 to 15 police officials were injured during the violence.

The rioting comes months after six-year-old Zainab Fatima Ameen was raped and killed in eastern Pakistan's city of Kasur, sparking nationwide outrage and soul-searching over how the country fails to protect its most vulnerable.

In February a Pakistani court handed down four death sentences on the man charged with the killing.

The protests also come as a series of rapes in neighbouring India have sparked demonstrations there.

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