Police on Sunday used tear gas and batons to disperse hundreds of angry Muslim protesters rallying against Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip in Karachi. About 2,000 people had answered the call of religious leaders to protest the Jewish state's campaign in the Palestinian territory, torching Israeli and US flags, but mainly marching peacefully, a foreign news agency correspondent witnessed. But the protest briefly turned violent when several hundred protesters deviated from the planned route and started heading toward the US consulate in the southern port city, senior police officer Amir Sheikh told a foreign news agency. When police tried to stop the demonstrators, they were pelted with stones. Some protesters even started fistfights with officers, prompting police to fire tear gas shells and baton-charge the crowd.