ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A provocative-line Islamist neighborhood on Sunday took six Pakistani security personnel hostage after days of deadly clashes within the northeastern metropolis of Lahore over a French satirical newspaper’s publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad and the arrest of the neighborhood’s chief by Pakistani authorities.
A senior police officer and two paramilitary opponents had been among those taken after protesters surrounded a police set and stormed the compound, essentially based on Lahore police spokesman Arif Rana. Per week of violence all over the country has left no longer lower than four dumb, essentially based on the protesters. Police officers protest hundreds procure been arrested.
The tensions driving the protests, led by the Islamist occasion Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan, procure been simmering for months after French President Emmanuel Macron honored a trainer who used to be beheaded last year in France after he showed a class the cartoons depicting Muhammad. For many Muslims, depictions of the prophet are blasphemous and deeply insulting.
Macron’s comments sparked protests all over the Muslim world last year. In Pakistan, Tehrik-e-Labbaik demanded that authorities ban the import of French merchandise and expel the French ambassador. Protests earlier this year had been quelled most productive when Pakistani authorities agreed to take be conscious of the neighborhood’s demands, pledging to originate a call by April 20.
Because the deadline approached, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry arrested the neighborhood’s chief, Saad Rizvi, citing intelligence that he and his followers deliberate assaults on April 20 if the French ambassador used to be no longer expelled.
The arrest sparked yet any other round of nationwide protests, which turned violent when protesters blocked highways leading out and in of well-known cities. High Minister Imran Khan replied by banning Tehrik-e-Labbaik and all television coverage of the protests.
But photography of the violence spread on social media via dozens of videos, some depicting folks carrying away the injured. The videos might perhaps no longer be independently verified by The Washington Submit.
On Thursday, the French Embassy told all French nationals and companies to mercurial leave Pakistan “for this reason of the intense threats to French interests,” essentially based on an Agence France-Presse listing.
George reported from Kabul.