Arab Today, arab today gas shortage protest turns violent in capital
Last Updated : GMT 22:44:04
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Gas shortage protest turns violent in capital

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Gas shortage protest turns violent in capital

Islamabad - Arabstoday

Hundreds of Pakistanis enraged at debilitating gas shortages set two armoured police vehicles alight and blocked the highway to Islamabad airport on Friday, witnesses said.The crowd, who also pelted police with stones, gathered at the main highway connecting the international airport to the capital city and blocked it for several hours for the second time in a week.“More than 300 people gathered on the highway and put two armoured vehicles of police and a shed on a bus stop on fire,” an AFP photographer said. “Police used the tear gas to disperse the protestors,” he said.The protestors had gathered on the same highway on Monday and set fire to tyres, threw stones at police and private vehicles over gas rationing that has left thousands of homes without heat for hours at a time.Yawning energy shortfalls frequently trigger violent protests across Pakistan, where opposition parties are setting in motion campaigns designed to force elections earlier than scheduled in February 2013.A police official said that the road remained closed for more than three hours.“There were still some boys on the road but we have opened it for the traffic after majority of the protestors dispersed following the three hours blockade,” Mirvais Niaz Khan, a senior official of the traffic police said.“They burnt our two armoured vehicles, so tear gas was used to disperse them,” he said.Another police official said that the traffic remained gridlocked hours after the road was cleared because hundreds of vehicles had backed up on roads in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, which connected to the capital by road links.A moderate 5.0-magnitude earthquake jolted southern Pakistan on Friday but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, officials said.The epicentre of the quake was 70 kilometres southeast of Sibi, a major city in southern Balochistan province which borders Iran and Afghanistan.“Tremors were felt at 5:02pm local time in Sibi and Quetta cities in the Balochistan province,” meteorologist Arif Mehmood said. “The earthquake struck at the depth of 10 kilometres,” he addded.

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