Pakistan

KARACHI – Protests erupted on Saturday soon after Islamabad police, with the help of Frontier Constabulary personnel and other law enforcement agencies, launched a crackdown against protesters camped out at the Faizabad Interchange since November 8.

The crackdown was launched after the last of a long series of deadlines lapsed on Saturday morning without response from the agitating parties.

Roughly 8,500 elite police and paramilitary troops in riot gear are taking part in the clearance operation, which was launched soon after the final deadline of 7am given to protesters expired.

Security forces stand guard as protesters gather in Karachi.

Protesters have also started gathering at key points across the country including Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpur Azad Kashmir, Tando Allahyar, Jacobabad, Chakwal, Sabrial, Faisalabad Gujranwala, and Lahore.

LIVE: Cop dies amid Faiazabad operation to uproot Islamabad sit-in

In the Sindh capital, protesters who had been staging a sit-in at the Numaish Chowrangi since morning shut down all the leading roads in the area and forcefully closed all the shops. Meanwhile, protests have also sprung up in various other parts of the city.

Geo News reports protests are taking place near Jillani Centre near Tower, on Hasan Square, at Star Gate as well as in Sohrab Goth. Unconfirmed reports have suggested protests are also taking place near Al Asif Square and that protestors have severed the main road link between Karachi and Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, a video shared on Twitter shows announcements are being made in local mosques of Rawalpindi for people to reach Faizabad interchange.

Lahore’s Mall Road was also blocked, and all shops shut down after lawyers staged a rally in favour of Islamabad sit-in.

Earlier today, a policeman was martyred and several others injured as clashes with protesters turned violent after an operation to clear Faizabad interchange commenced early Saturday morning.

Dozens of protesters have been detained as they continue to resist and throw stones at security officials. Over a hundred have been reported injured due to the clashes, including dozens of policemen and FC officials.

Protesters have blocked Bhara Kahu leading to Murree, and also set fire to two vehicles at Faizabad Chowk.