AFP photographer Asif Hassan was shot and seriously injured Friday while covering an anti-Charlie Hebdo protest by religious party activists outside the French consulate in Karachi, but was out of immediate danger following surgery.
Hassan did not appear to have been deliberately targeted but police and witnesses said protesters from the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami religious party had been shooting at police and Hassan was caught in the crossfire.
The party denied it was responsible and blamed the police.
"The bullet struck his lung, and passed through his chest. He is out of immediate danger and he has spoken to his colleagues," Doctor Seemi Jamali, a spokeswoman for Karachi's Jinnah Hospital where Hassan was taken, told AFP.
She added that Hassan was struck by a non-rubber bullet in his back.
"There were around 350 protesters who wanted to go to the French consulate and when the police tried to stop them they started firing at the police," senior police official Abdul Khaliq Sheikh told AFP.
A witness at the scene confirmed the police account.
But Hafiz Bilal Ramzan, head of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba Karachi blamed police for the "indiscriminate" firing.
"Police are responsible for those wounded during the protest including Asif Hasan," Ramzan said.