The desperate government called out the army after an abortive operation to disperse hundreds of activists of a religious group camping at an arterial traffic intersection of the federal capital since the start of this month.
A notification issued by the Ministry of Interior on Saturday said a sufficient number of troops, to be determined by the Commander of the 111 Brigade, were being deployed in the capital to assist civil authorities in maintaining law and order. The troops have been deployed in aid of civil power under Article 245 of the Constitution and will remain in Islamabad until further order.
Earlier in the day, the authorities finally launched an operation to retrieve Faizabad intersection from Tehreek-e-Labbaik protesters after weeks of negotiations and nudging by the courts, but the police action only multiplied the government’s problems amid a worsening law and order situation in Islamabad and other cities.
At the end of the day, at least six protesters had been confirmed dead, while more than 200 people – including protesters and law enforcers – were injured. All six fatalities took place in Rawalpindi and four of the deceased were identified as Zohaib, Jahanzeb, Irfan and Adeel. The other two were yet to be identified.
The protesters torched over a dozen police vehicles and several motorcycles, as riot police beat a hasty retreat hours after they mounted the crackdown.Officials said 40 personnel of Rawalpindi and 76 of Islamabad police, 64 Frontier Constabulary men and 50 civilians suffered injuries and were taken to hospitals. None of the injuries was critical though.
The protesters also set ablaze several public and private properties as the sporadic clashes, particularly in Rawalpindi, continued late in the evening.COAS advises PM to avoid violence in Faizabad crackdown.Two cars, including the one of an additional deputy commissioner, were torched in Islamabad in addition to several private motorcycles, while in Rawalpindi at least 12 police and two private vehicles, including a DSNG van of a private TV channel, were set on fire.
A number of private buildings around Faizabad were also damaged.Islamabad police clarified that no casualty had taken place in their jurisdiction and reports of the death of a police officer which several news channels ran throughout the day were untrue.The operation launched by the police of the two cities and personnel of the Frontier Constabulary ended in a disappointing failure amid violent clashes between law enforcers and protesters.
Via: The Tribune Pakistan
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