Pakistan News, Rawalpindi Updates : Curfew has been imposed in Rawalpindi after violent clashes between two groups left at least seven people dead and over 40 injured on Friday as worshippers massed to mourn the seventh century martyrdom of Imam Hussain (RA).
The clashes erupted when a mourners’ procession was on its way through Fawara Chowk in the garrison city.
According to a Punjab government spokesperson, the curfew has been slapped to bring the situation under control following the deadly clashes and the subsequent unrest, which is feared to spark off more untoward incidents to the peril of local residents.
As the troops took control of the city some of roads in the garrison city were also blocked with shipping containers and mobile phone services were suspended as a security measure.
The district administration has warned the citizens to stay at homes as violation of curfew will not be tolerated. It further added that areas like Rawal Town, Potohar Town, and Cantonment were also under curfew.
Taking a notice of the incident, Chief Minister of Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif had tasked the officials with a detailed report into the clashes.
Earlier, a doctor at Rawalpindi’s district hospital, said death toll from the clashes had reached to seven people whereas 35 more are under treatment for injuries.
“Among 35 wounded people brought to our hospital, 13 had gunshot wounds,” Khan said.
He said five wounded people were shifted to another hospital. Police said private properties were also set on fire during the clashes.
Media reports said large contingents of troops were deployed in the city following the clashes and forces used tear gas to disperse the rival groups.
According to sources, violent youths attacked rival groups and also broke the cameras of reporters who arrived on scene.
Video footage also showed participants of the procession beating policemen.
An eyewitness saw crowds from the rival groups gathering in the hospital and chanting slogans against each other.
Pakistan had deployed heavy security all across the country during Muharram to avert any terrorist attack and jammed mobile phone services, which hampered communication following the clashes.