6 security personnel taken hostage in Pakistan amid arrest of Islamist group leader


A Pakistani Islamist group has taken six security personnel hostage after the arrest of their group leader lead to clashes with police, Reuters reported.

Lahore Police spokesman Arif Rana told Reuters that a senior police officer and two paramilitary officers were being held captive by The Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) group.

Roads leading to the group’s headquarters in Lahore have been blocked. 

“The TLP activists have two fuel tankers containing thousands of liters of petrol. They are throwing petrol bombs and stones at security officials, and also shooting bullets as the result of which 11 officials are injured,” Rana told Reuters. 

TLP had warned the government they had until April 20 to ban the French ambassador over a cartoon depiction of the Prophet Mohammad, which led to Pakistani authorities arresting their leader.  This led to protests and sit-ins in the country, which became violent as four people died and hundreds were wounded during the violent clashes. 

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday that the group had been banned because it “challenged the writ of the state and used street violence & attacking the public & law enforcers.” 

The government has barred state news outlets from providing coverage on the clashes with the banned group. 

France last week advised their citizens to leave the country temporarily due to safety reasons.

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