Three killed as Pakistanis clash with police in rally over anti-Islam film…
Three people have been killed and another 14 injured on Friday in clashes at Pakistani protests against an anti-Islam film. The government previously declared the day a public holiday, named “The Day of Love.”
The violence has left two police officers in Karachi and a driver working for a private TV station in Peshawar dead.
This comes after Pakistani anti-US protesters have torched two cinemas in the northwestern city of Peshawar.
RT correspondent Paula Slier reports there is a standoff between police and protesters trying to reach the US embassy in Islamabad, and that the army has been called in. Throngs are pelting stones at officers, who in turn teargas them as they attempt to storm the embassy.
“What we’re witnessing is the spark to the fire that is seeing tens of thousands of people take to the streets in these cities to hold the US responsible for what they say is the worst attack ever on Islam,” Slier said.
All this is amid the Day of Love, officially dedicated to honoring the Prophet. The government calls for peaceful protests, but the rallies have already turned violent.
Shops, markets, petrol stations have been closed in Pakistan, and transport is likely to be halted over concerns that new protests will be held, RT’s Paula Slier tweets.
Mobile service has been suspended in 15 Pakistani cities, and won’t resume until at least 6pm (13:00 GMT).
The Pakistani government has blocked YouTube and declared a holiday in the country, which has been gripped by violent protests.
On Thursday, thousands tried to besiege the American embassy, with police using teargas and batons to disperse the protesters. Most of them were students, officials said.