General

Islamabad operation: Policeman martyred, over 200 people injured

Protesters have started gathering at the Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad again following the government’s suspension of its crackdown against them, launched earlier in the day, for the last two hours.
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 nearly three weeks.
At least 139 injured people have been taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, a spokesperson from the hospital said, adding that 93 of them were members of the security forces. Police have confirmed that at least two protesters are dead.
Television footage showed police officials surrounding the sit-in area and firing tear gas shells in a bid to disperse the protesters belonging to the Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLYRAP). The protesters also retaliated by hurling stones and bricks at the law enforcers.
The protesters, who before Saturday numbered some 2,000 people, are demanding that federal law minister Zahid Hamid resign over a hastily-abandoned amendment to the oath that election candidates must swear.“We are in our thousands. We will not leave. We will fight until the end,” Tehreek-e-Labaik spokesperson Ejaz Ashrafi told Reuters by telephone from the scene.
Smoke and tear gas filled the air in the ongoing, hours-long bid by some 8,500 police as well as paramilitary Rangers and Frontier Corps forces to clear the demonstrators, which began soon after dawn.Fresh protests were also springing up in other cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Gujranwala and Sialkot.