Protests in Pakistan Become Violent, AFP Photographer Shot

AP Photo/Shakil Adil
AP Photo/Shakil Adil

As protests spread across Pakistan, a rally in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi turned into a violent clash with police. In the chaos, a photographer working for Agence France-Presse was shot.

Photographer Asif Hasan was shot in the chest during the protest, which took place as protesters neared the French consulate. CBS News reports that Hasan was transported to a local hospital, where he had surgery. A member of Pakistan’s intelligence service told CBS News an armed protester was responsible for shooting the photographer.

Pakistani protesters are angry about the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, which once again featured a cartoon of Mohammed on its cover this week. Protesters in Karachi threw rocks and some reportedly were armed with guns. Video of the clash shows police also throwing rocks and some with guns drawn. As the protesters advanced on the French consulate, police fired tear gas and used a water cannon to keep protesters back.

Protests sparked by the cartoons also took place in at least three other cities in Pakistan. CBS News reports a hardline speaker in Islamabad encouraged further violence against the publishers of the cartoons saying, “Whosoever breaks the hand of those who commit blasphemy, and breaks their neck, we will hold that person in praise.” The AP reports nearly 1,000 demonstrators joined the march that followed the speech, some carrying signs which read, “If you are Charlie, then I am Kouachi.”

The NY Times published a video showing similar protests against the cartoons taking place in the cities of Lahore and Peshewar.