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Pakistani police arrest scores extra Imran Khan supporters

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistani police on Monday arrested scores extra supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan for attacking officers over the weekend outdoors an Islamabad courtroom the place the ousted premier was to look on graft prices, officers mentioned.

In the meantime, a rocket hit a car carrying Khan supporters within the nation’s northwest, killing 10 individuals.

The arrests had been the newest amid authorized {cases} dealing with Khan, now opposition chief, since his ouster in a no-confidence vote in Parliament final April. The standoff between the 70-year-old former cricket participant turned Islamist politician, and the federal government of his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, has turned more and more violent.

Monday’s arrests deliver the overall variety of Khan’s followers detained in Islamabad to 198 since Saturday, when 59 had been arrested within the Pakistani capital. Khan’s followers threw firebombs and hurled rocks on the officers as riot police wielded batons and fired tear fuel. Greater than 50 officers had been injured and at a police checkpoint, a number of vehicles and bikes had been torched.

A rocket struck a car carrying Khan supporters within the northwest on Monday, killing Atif Munsif, an area chief from Khan’s occasion, and 9 others, officers mentioned. The assault occurred in Abbottabad, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, mentioned Asghar Khan, an area police chief unrelated to the previous prime minister. He mentioned it was unclear who was behind the assault.

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The police chief mentioned the Khan supporters had been apparently returning to Abbottabad from Islamabad.

Khan mentioned Munsif’s political rivals had been behind earlier gun assaults on elders from his household. He mentioned police had been investigating.

There was no rapid remark from Khan’s opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf occasion, which is at the moment making ready for an upcoming election for a regional meeting within the northwest, the place Khan is vastly well-liked.

Additionally on Saturday, police stormed Khan’s residence within the japanese metropolis of Lahore, arrested 61 suspects there and seized Molotov cocktails, weapons and ammunition after clashing together with his supporters.

Khan was not at dwelling, having traveled to Islamabad for the courtroom look on prices he had offered state items obtained whereas in workplace and hid belongings. After he failed to look earlier than the Islamabad courtroom, the decide postponed that listening to till March 30.

Earlier final week, Khan’s residence in Lahore was the scene of two days of clashes between police and his followers when officers tried to arrest Khan. The warrant was later suspended.

On Sunday, police in Islamabad filed prices in opposition to Khan, 17 of his aides and scores of supporters, accusing them of terrorism and offenses associated to the clashes in Islamabad the day gone by. Police have additionally charged these arrested later with the identical prices. Among the many detained is Hassan Niazi, a nephew of Khan, police mentioned in a press release.

Khan denies any wrongdoing and has claimed that his ouster was a conspiracy by Sharif’s authorities and Washington. Each Sharif and america have dismissed the allegations.

Khan has additionally claimed there are plots to assassinate him since he was wounded final November in a taking pictures assault whereas main a rally, when a gunman sprayed Khan’s car and entourage with bullets. That assault killed considered one of Khan’s supporters and wounded 13.

On Monday, Khan claimed his scheduled courtroom look Saturday in Islamabad was one other such plot and promised to offer particulars later.

“I’ll expose how I virtually walked right into a dying entice & the plot to kill me within the Judicial Advanced,” he tweeted.

Khan in a video message on Monday mentioned he did not go to the judicial complicated on Saturday to keep away from a potential assault. He didn’t again up his declare and mentioned the federal government was behind the plot to kill him to keep away from a potential defeat within the subsequent parliamentary elections, that are due later this yr. He demanded to be allowed to face courtroom {cases} through video hyperlinks to keep away from any additional assault on him.


Related Press author Riaz Khan contributed to this story from Peshawar, Pakistan.

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