Pakistan's police say violent clashes have erupted between security forces and Islamists in the eastern city of Lahore, killing at least two policemen and wounding several demonstrators
Author:
Published: 2021-10-22 11:46 am

Pakistan's police say violent clashes have erupted between security forces and Islamists in the eastern city of Lahore, killing at least two policemen and wounding several demonstrators

LAHORE, Pakistan -- Violent clashes erupted between Pakistan's security forces and Islamists in the eastern city of Lahore on Friday, killing at least two policemen and injuring several demonstrators, a police spokesman and witnesses said.

The incident happened after thousands of Islamists launched their “long march" from the city toward the capital, Islamabad, demanding that the government release the leader of their outlawed party.

The rallygoers want to go to Islamabad to pressure the government to release Saad Rizvi, the head of the Tehreek-e-Labiak Pakistan party. Rizvi was arrested last year amid demonstrations against France over publishing caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

Pakistan has deployed police and paramilitary personnel to prevent the demonstrators from leaving Lahore. Authorities also suspended cellular service in parts of Lahore and blocked roads.

The situation worsened when police tried to stop the rallygoers, witnesses said.

Rizvi's party said they were peaceful and that police suddenly started firing tear gas shells.

Police spokesman Rana Arif said two of the police officers were killed and another was injured when protesters threw stones. Rizvi's supporters said several protesters were wounded when police swung batons and fired tear gas.

Shipping containers were also being brought in to block the main Islamabad highway and surrounding roads to keep protesters from entering the capital from other nearby cities, towns and villages. Lahore is located about 350 kilometers (210 miles) from Islamabad, and most of the rallygoers are walking, although they had arranged buses and cars to reach the capital in a convoy.

The TLP has a history of staging protests and sit-ins to press their demands.

On Friday, Rizvi's party leader Ajmal Qadri said his supporters launched the “long march" after talks with the government failed to secure Rizvi's release.

The latest development comes at a time when Prime Minister Imran Khan was visiting Lahore.

———

Ahmed reported from Islamabad

Read Full Story

'He'd like to murder me,' estranged Durst brother testifies

abcnews.go.com - 5 months ago
An estranged brother has reluctantly testified at real estate heir Robert Durst's murder trial that the two never got along and he feared his brother would kill him
Read More

German government ad hails couch potatoes as virus heroes

abcnews.go.com - 1 year ago
The German government has released a tongue-in-cheek ad hailing an unlikely hero in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic: the humble couch potato
Read More

39 dead after typhoon leaves high water, mud in Philippines

abcnews.go.com - 1 year ago
Thick mud and debris coated many villages around the Philippine capital after a typhoon caused extensive flooding that sent people fleeing to their roofs and killed at least 39 people
Read More

'There's no running away from the numbers:' Fauci laments surging COVID deaths

abcnews.go.com - 11 months ago
President Trump misleadingly claimed Sunday that COVID-19 cases and deaths were 'exaggerated' as Dr. Anthony Fauci lamented the surging death rate.
Read More