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8 killed, over 100 injured in clashes during Pakistan's protest

English.news.cn   2014-08-31 05:50:00

ISLAMABAD, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- At least eight persons have been killed and over 100 others injured in the clashes between police and protesters after the later marched towards the Prime Minister' s House in Pakistani capital of Islamabad, opposition leaders and local media said late on Saturday.

Talking to local media, the Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) chief Tahir ul Qadri, the co-organizer of the protest, said his party's seven workers were killed and 75 others injured, while the chairman of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) said one of his workers was killed in clashes.

However, the spokesperson of the government-run hospital the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said no killed person was brought to the hospital, while 45 injured were shifted to the hospital and among them, five sustained rubber bullet injuries.

The federal defense minister Khawja Asif denied any causality in the clashes, saying that it is exaggeration by the protesters.

Several media persons and policemen were reportedly among the injured.

Emergency has been declared in all the hospitals of Islamabad.

Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said police used force after a group of demonstrators tried to enter an important governmental building to occupy it.

According to media reports, the government has ordered police to arrest both leaders as soon as possible to control the situation.

The clashes erupted after leaders of the two opposition parties the PAT and the PTI asked their workers at about 10:00 p.m. (local time)to move from the parliament towards the PM House after two- week peaceful sit-ins in Islamabad.

Police used baton charge, fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the thousands of the protesters who were demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The PTI leadership has announced countrywide protest on Sunday against the police torture in Islamabad, while another opposition party the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) announced to observe one- day mourning on Sunday in southern port city of Karachi.

Following the clashes in Islamabad, party workers of the PTI and PAT started protests in other major cities, including Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi.

Thousands of supporters of the two parties, demanding resignation of the PM Sharif reached Islamabad on Aug. 15 and entered a high security area "Red Zone" on Aug. 19 and started sit- ins in front of the parliament.

Both parties held talks with the authorities on their demands that finally ended at deadlock.

The PTI chairman Khan and the PAT chief Qadri led two separate long marches from eastern city of Lahore on Aug. 14 to Islamabad to press the government to fulfil their demands.

Khan, whose party has 34 seats in the lower house, alleged that the prime minister's party managed to win the 2013 general election through rigging.

He has been demanding the free and fair probe into the rigging by a panel of the country's apex court, but after the resignation of the PM.

Meanwhile, PAT workers have been protesting for their 10-point agenda, including the resignation of the PM and Chief Minister of Punjab province Shabaz Sharif, and reformation of the system.

The PAT also demanded to register a murder case against Prime Minister Sharif and his brother over the police shoot-out at protesters on June 17 2014 in Lahore that killed 14 PAT workers including two women and left 84 others injured.

On Aug. 28, on the orders of the High Court, police had registered a murder case against 21 persons, including Sharif and his younger brother CM Punjab province.

Pakistan's federal government has handed over the security of the important governmental buildings to the Pakistan Army, under the Article 245 of the Constitution, hours before the protesters started march to the Red Zone.

Besides 700 army troops, thousands of paramilitary troops and policemen are also present in the area to deal with any situation.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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