Dead, 150 Injured After Violent Clashes Between Forces And Islamist Protesters

Dead, 150 Injured After Violent Clashes Between Forces And Islamist Protesters

Thousands of security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets as the demonstrators blocked roads and burned police vehicles around the site of the sit-in, which has virtually paralysed the capital for the whole day.

Pakistani police fought running battles on Saturday with stone-throwing activists of the ultra-religious Tehreek-e-Labaik party but failed to dislodge the activist who are blocking roads into Islamabad.

News media also reported protesters breaking into the house of former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority took private television stations off the air.

Meanwhile, severe clashes were going on between personnel of LEAs consisting of police, FC & Rangers and protesters.

At least two people were killed and over 200 were injured across Islamabad and Rawalpindi, with the number expected to rise.

Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa telephoned Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and discussed the ongoing situation regarding the crackdown on protesters in Islamabad.

The written orders citing a report submitted by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) said the protesters had political motives.

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On Friday, Islamabad High Court (IHC) called the protest an act of terrorism and ordered the government to remove the protestors.

They reported that police arrested around 150 protesters, some with knives and pistols.

"The administration is taking action under court order but still we are open for talks with them", he said, referring to the protesters.

The protesters, who before Saturday numbered some 2,000 people, are demanding that Pakistan's law minister Zahid Hamid resign over a hastily-abandoned amendment to the oath that election candidates must swear.

A senior government official speaking on condition of anonymity, due to restrictions on speaking to the media, told Anadolu Agency that the security forces had been asked not to take on the violent protesters pending further orders.

Ahsan Iqbal said that protesters had been holding Twin Cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi hostage for last 20 days, adding that few elements were misleading innocent minds.

Smaller demonstrations were breaking out in Lahore and other cities, according to local media.

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