Security personnel in Karachi clash with striking employees of Pakistan's ailing national airline, leaving at least two protesters dead and several others injured. Mana Rabiee reports.
Hundreds of airline employees had been marching in Karachi against government plans to privatize the ailing national airline, fearing massive layoffs. They'd been striking near the airport and say paramilitary forces started firing -- after a confrontation with police who'd been trying to keep the protesters back. A hospital official says at least two of them were killed, eight others injured. The violence comes after months of protests by employees of Pakistan International Airlines -- and only a day after the enactment of legislation restricting airline employees from striking for six months. Violators face fines and a year in prison. (SOUNDBITE) PROTESTER, NASIR JANJUA, SAYING: "Arrests are the last tactic they can use on us. Let them try that also. God willing we will not retreat. We will keep pushing forward, we will not turn back." Pakistan International Airlines was once a source of great pride for this country... but the government is cautioning employees -- if they continue their strike- they'll be treated as "enemies" of the state.