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Tension grips Islamabad as protesters enter Red Zone

Pak News

Police fired tear gas on Sunday at thousands of stone-throwing supporters of Mumtaz Qadri, a month after he was hanged for killing a provincial governor for alleged blasphemy.

The supporters of Qadri gathered in Islamabad’s twin city Rawalpindi in the afternoon to mark his Chehlum, before turning toward the heavily-barricaded capital which was patrolled by hundreds of police and paramilitary soldiers.

Riot police carrying batons and shields fired tear gas to try to prevent them pushing closer to the city centre, leading to a clash.

Rangers officer Colonel Amanullah and other security personnel were injured in stone pelting from protesters.

Demonstrators torched many CDA vehicles and private cars on their towards Parliament House.

A metro bus station at China Chowk was set on fire by the demonstrators. They also set ablaze three motorcycles parked at the metro station.

On Saturday a group of angry men at a Islamabad airport assaulted a former pop star in the latest case of vigilante violence linked to blasphemy.

Ex-singer Junaid Jamshed, who is now a prominent evangelist, was leaving Islamabad airport on Saturday night when he was set upon by a group of around six men who were waiting to attack him at the exit.

The incident was captured on mobile phone video and has ben widely viewed.

The men were seen throwing punches at the 51-year-old, who in addition to his preaching work runs a chain of high-end clothing boutiques.

“You have committed blasphemy, hit him, hit him!” shouted one of the men. AFP

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