KARACHI - Two people died of bullet wounds during clashes and at least 13 were injured amid protests against Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), at Karachi airport's Jinnah Terminal Tuesday, a local newspaper reported.
The protests were part of a strike by PIA employees against plans to privatize the national flag carrier airline.
Police and paramilitary Ranger forces were deployed to prevent protesters from entering the terminal's cargo gate and moving onto Jinnah Avenue, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported yesterday.
Security forces used batons, rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas shells on the protesters, though the forces deny they fired on protesters or handled them violently.
Inayat Raza, of PIA's engineering department, initially sustained a bullet wound in the chest but later succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital.
The second victim, named only as Saleem, died of bullet wounds at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Complex.
At least ten injured people were admitted to that hospital, two with critical injuries, spokesman Dr Seemi Jamali said.
At least three journalists were also injured in the protest, as security forces dispersed media personnel from covering the event.
The casualties have not deterred the Joint Action Committee of the Pakistan Airlines Cabin Crew Association from announcing that the strike would keep going, association president Nasrullah Khan said.
Solidarity protests by PIA employees have spread to Multan and Peshawar.