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2 dead, 400 injured as police clash with protesters in Pakistan's capital Islamabad

Published on Aug 31, 2014 8:59 AM
Pakistani policemen arrest an injured supporter of Canadian cleric Tahir ul Qadri following clashes with security forces near the prime minister's residence in Islamabad on Aug 31, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Two people were killed and more than 400 wounded in clashes between the police and protesters in Pakistan's capital Islamabad, hospital officials said on Sunday, as a fortnight-long political impasse took a violent turn.

The violence, which began late on Saturday and continued early on Sunday, erupted after around 25,000 people marched from Parliament to the Prime Minister's house, where some attempted to remove barricades around it with cranes, an AFP reporter at the scene said. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Islamabad police chief Khalid Khattak told AFP that the police exercised restraint but the protesters were armed with axes, wire cutters and hammers. "They had a crane and drove it until the entrance of the presidency. We are using only tear gas and firing rubber bullets where needed," Mr Khattak said.

Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said protesters tried to uproot the entry gate of the Prime Minister's house.

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