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Protesters take seven officials hostage in Pakistan

At least seven Pakistan police officers and special rangers were taken hostage on Sunday by supporters of a radical Islamist party, officials said, after days of violent anti-France protests.

Rioting has rocked the country since Monday, when the leader of the now-banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) was detained in the second biggest city Lahore after calling for the expulsion of the French ambassador.

The protests have paralysed cities and led to the deaths of six policemen, prompting the French embassy to recommend all its nationals temporarily leave the country.

“The TLP members are holding five police officers and two rangers hostage,” said Rana Arif, a police spokesman in Lahore said, referring to the country’s paramilitary force.

Firdous Ashiq Awan, a spokeswoman for the Punjab government, said 12 policemen had been abducted and taken to a TLP mosque in Lahore.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 12:56:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/protesters-take-seven-officials-hostage-in-pak/article34352173.ece

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