4 killed as Islamists conflict with police in Pak

Lahore, April 18

Police in Pakistan said a banned hardline Islamist group had taken six security personnel hostage at its headquarters in Lahore on Sunday after a week of violent clashes following the arrest of the group’s leader.

The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) group had given the government an April 20 deadline to expel the French ambassador over the publication of cartoons in France depicting the Prophet Mohammad. The authorities arrested TLP leader, triggering protests.

Four people were killed, hundreds injured, and thousands arrested. A senior police officer and two paramilitary were among the six being held by TLP supporters, Lahore police spokesman Arif Rana said. Saad Hussain Rizvi-led TLP wants the government to expel France’s Ambassador. — Reuters

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