Pakistani Police and Protesters Clash, Four Killed, 500 Arrested

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At least four people were killed, hundreds were injured and more than 500 others were arrested in Pakistan during clashes between authorities and supporters of an anti-government cleric Friday and Saturday. The cleric, Tahir ul-Qadri, canceled a protest rally scheduled to take place in the city of Lahore on Saturday and encouraged supporters to hold smaller rallies in their hometowns, instead. "Protest peacefully," said Qadri, who has accused the government of being corrupt and has called for the overthrow of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. "The government wants a massacre in the name of a crackdown."

Police tried to block protesters from getting to Lahore, sparking waves of violence Friday. Around 500 Qadri supporters were arrested and 100 others were injured, according to authorities. More than 100 police were also injured in the clashes, said Nabeela Ghazanfar, the provincial police spokeswoman. Three men and a woman were killed, and a police station was burned down. Provincial law minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad told Reuters on Friday that Qadri would be arrested and charged with terrorism for inciting violence.


— NBC News, with Reuters