Day 2 of hardline protests in Pakistan: Protesters burn vehicles, clash with army, retreat
Witnesses say troops ordered to restore order absent from Faizabad; Paramilitary force says it's ready to launch ops on govt orders
Islamist party activists on Sunday clashed with Pakistani security forces for a second day outside the capital, Islamabad, burning vehicles before withdrawing to a protest camp they have occupied for more than two weeks, police said. Despite order from the civilian government to the army on Saturday night to help restore order, no troops were at the scene around the protest camp in Faizabad, on the outskirts of the capital, witnesses said.
Pakistani rangers stand guard near protesters from the Tehreek-i-Labaik Yah Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLYRAP) religious group on a blocked street in Islamabad
The military's press department did not respond to queries about the government's order. According to media reports at least six people were killed on the previous day, when several thousand police and paramilitary forces tried to disperse the religious hardliners, who have blocked the main route into the capital demanding that the law minister be fired for committing blasphemy.
After the early morning clashes, the area settled into an uneasy standoff. The paramilitary Rangers force was in charge of Sunday's operations, officers said. "We still don't have orders to launch an operation. We will act as the government orders us," said Rangers commander at the scene Colonel Bilal.
150 Approximate no. of people wounded on Saturday
80 No. of members of the security forces among the casualties on Saturday
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