Three killed in Pakistan clashes between police, Islamists

Two demonstrators and a policeman were killed on Tuesday in violent clashes between Islamists and police in Pakistan, a day after after authorities arrested the head of an Islamist party in the eastern city of Lahore, a senior police official and local media reported.

The policeman was killed in overnight clashes with the supporters of Saad Rizvi, the head of the Tehreek-e-Labiak Pakistan who was arrested on Monday, police said. Ten policemen were also wounded in these clashes in the town of Shahadra near Lahore.

Two Islamists were reportedly killed in the eastern Punjab province. The violence began on Monday after police arrested Rizvi for threatening protests if the government did not expel France’s Ambassador over depictions of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

According to police, the arrest was aimed at maintaining law and order. But Rizvi’s detention quickly sparked violent protests by Islamists in cities around the country. The protesters blocked highways and roads in several cities.

The deadly clashes come two days after Rizvi in a statement asked the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan to honor what he said was a commitment it made in February to his party to expel the French envoy before April 20 over the publication in France of depictions of Islam’s Prophet. However, the government has said it only committed to discussing the matter in Parliament.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 6:52:27 PM |

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