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Pakistan calls on army to restore security in capital: Interior ministry

Authorities had hesitated for days to act against the demonstrators, fearing violence, but thousands of security forces began attempts to clear the protest just after dawn on Saturday.

Published: 25th November 2017 10:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th November 2017 10:08 PM   |  A+A-

A Pakistani police officer aims his gun towards the protesters next to a burning police vehicle during a clash in Islamabad Pakistan.|PTI

A Pakistani police officer aims his gun towards the protesters next to a burning police vehicle during a clash in Islamabad Pakistan.|PTI

By AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government has called on the powerful military to deploy in the capital Islamabad after violence broke out Saturday when security forces attempted to disperse an Islamist sit-in, the interior ministry said.

The request was made by Islamabad Capital Territory authorities, according to an interior ministry order, which said the federal government had authorised the deployment of "sufficient troops" to "control law and order" in the city until further notice.

There was no immediate comment from military officials.

The order came after Pakistani police clashed violently with hardline religious protesters in Islamabad Saturday, leaving at least one person dead and more than 130 injured.

Police were attempting to clear a small protest by the little-known hardline group called Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLYRAP) that has blocked a main highway into Islamabad since November 6, causing hours-long traffic snarls and enraging citizens. 

Authorities had hesitated for days to act against the demonstrators, fearing violence, but thousands of security forces began attempts to clear the protest just after dawn on Saturday.

They fired tear gas and rubber bullets as the demonstrators blocked roads and burned police vehicles around the site of the sit-in. Protests also broke out in the major cities of Lahore and Karachi, as well as smaller town across the country.



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