KARACHI: After the crackdown against protestors in Islamabad began early Saturday morning, protesters have also started gathering at key points across the country including Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpur Azad Kashmir, Tando Allahyar, Jacobabad, Chakwal, Sabrial, Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujranwala.
In Lahore, protests took an ugly turn when demonstrators blocked major roads such as Mall Road and set a vehicle on fire at Shahdara Chowk. They also blocked railway tracks in the area.
Lahore police had to resort to tear gas shelling to disperse the protesters. Further contingents of Rangers have been summoned to the site of protests. Metro bus services have been suspended. Several protesters have been detained.
In Karachi, protesters that had been staging a sit-in at the Numaish Chowrangi since morning shut down the access roads and forcefully closed all the shops in the area. Meanwhile, protests have also sprung up in various other parts of the city.
According to reports, as many as 21 people were injured in the clashes in Karachi.
Reports have confirmed protests are taking place near Jillani Centre near Tower, on Hasan Square, at Star Gate as well as in Sohrab Goth.
Traffic Police sources have told Geo.tv that protestors have blocked the Shaheed-e-Millat Expressway. The sources added that protestors at Al Asif Square have severed the main road link between Karachi and Hyderabad.
Security officials were forced to resort to tear gas shelling to disperse protesters at Star Gate.
Earlier today, a policeman was martyred and over 190 injured as clashes with protesters turned violent after an operation to clear Faizabad interchange commenced early Saturday morning.
Heavy contingents of police, FC and Rangers were deployed to the interchange, where they used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters after the capital was virtually paralysed due to the three-week long sit-in.
Dozens of protesters were detained as they continued to resist and throw stones at security officials. Over 8,000 security officials are taking part in the operation, which according to reports was suspended at 1:30 pm.
Protesters blocked Bhara Kahu leading to Murree, Rawalpindi Expressway and the Motorway. They also set fire to ten vehicles in the area.