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Govt decides to ban TLP

Islamabad: The government has decided to ban Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) after violent protests that killed two police officers and wounded 340.

The government said it has also arrested 1,400 workers of the group, that is agitating against the arrest of its chief ahead of countrywide rallies.

Paramilitary troops were deployed overnight to clear the protests by the Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), which has blocked rail tracks, highways and entry and exit routes to all major cities.

A worker of TLP was also killed in the protests, triggered by the arrest of their leader, Saad Hussain Rizvi, 26.

Videos shared on social media which Reuters couldn’t verify showed bloodied police officers being frog-marched in their torn uniforms.

The government said at least 340 police were wounded.

The two officers were beaten to death in eastern Lahore, said the city police chief, Ghulam Mahmood Dogar. Another police officer, Sajid Kiyani, said the Islamists also used firearms at some places where they also assaulted and abducted police.

Rizvi has been charged with instigating murder.

The TLP is demaning that the government expel the French ambassador and endorse a boycott of French products.

“We have decided to ban the TLP,” Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid told reporters in Islamabad. “We don’t want to be known as an extremist nation at international level,” he said, adding that the group would be banned under country’s anti-terrorism laws.

But the TLP is backed by a majority Sunni sect of Islam with a following of tens of thousands that will make it difficult to enforce any ban.

Pakistani extremists groups have a history of popping up with different names after being outlawed. Reuters

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