The Dallas Morning News

Scores more arrested by police

Supporters of former premier accused of attacking officers


ISLAMABAD — Pakistani police on Monday arrested scores more supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan for attacking officers over the weekend outside an Islamabad court where the ousted premier was to appear on graft charges, officials said.

Meanwhile, a rocket hit a vehicle carrying Khan supporters in the country’s northwest, killing 10 people.

The arrests were the latest amid legal cases facing Khan, now opposition leader, since his ouster in a no-confidence vote in Parliament last April. The standoff between the 70year-old former cricket player turned Islamist politician, and the government of his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, has turned increasing­ly violent.

Monday’s arrests bring the total number of Khan’s followers detained in Islamabad to 198 since Saturday, when 59 were arrested in the Pakistani capital. Khan’s followers threw firebombs and hurled rocks at the officers as riot police wielded batons and fired tear gas. More than 50 officers were injured and at a police checkpoint, several cars and motorcycle­s were torched.

Also on Monday, police arrested Saddique Jan, a Pakistani TV anchor known for supporting Khan in Islamabad, his BOL TV station said. It was unclear on what charges police arrested Jan, who was nabbed from outside his office. His arrest drew condemnati­on from colleagues, politician­s and human rights activists.

A rocket struck a vehicle carrying Khan supporters in the northwest on Monday, killing Atif Munsif, a local leader from Khan’s party, and nine others, officials said. The attack happened in Abbottabad, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhw­a province, said Asghar Khan, a local police chief unrelated to the former prime minister. He said it was unclear who was behind the attack.

The police chief said the Khan supporters were apparently returning to Abbottabad from Islamabad.

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