Two killed in PIA staff, police standoff

Islamabad, Feb 2 (IANS) At least two persons were killed and five injured on Tuesday after law enforcement personnel allegedly opened fire at employees of Pakistan International Airlines protesting near Jinnah International Airport in Karachi against privatisation of the national flag carrier.

Two protesters died after sustaining bullet wounds, but Rangers and police denied “handling protesters violently” and opening fire at the site of the clash, Dawn reported.

The incident came a day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif enforced the Essential Services Maintenance Act 1952 for six months in an effort to block the impending strike.

The anti-privatisation demonstrators were determined to disrupt flight operations from Tuesday despite the government’s threat of termination of services.

A large contingent of Rangers and police personnel was stationed outside the airport to control the protesters and avoid any untoward incident.

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