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Pakistani police seeking to arrest ex-PM clash with supporters

By Darryl Coote,

2023-03-15

March 15 (UPI) -- Pakistani police and supporters of embattled former Prime Minister Imran Khan clashed out front of his Islamabad home overnight and into Wednesday morning as authorities attempt to arrest the opposition leader who faces corruption allegations.

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Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, posed for a picture Wednesday with tear gas shells and bullets he said police used in their attempt to arrest him, Photo courtesy of Imran Khan/Twitter

Police have been attempting to arrest Khan, leader of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf political party, as he has repeatedly skipped out on court appearances concerning allegations that he illegally sold gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his time as prime minister for millions of dollars.

The violence followed Interior Minister Rana SanaUllah Khan on Tuesday announcing that another arrest order for Khan had been made.

"On the order of the court, the person who has ran away from the court will be arrested and produced here," the minister tweeted .

Law enforcement including police and the paramilitary Punjab Rangers on Wednesday reached the Zaman Park residence of Khan to execute the court order by firing tear gas to disperse supporters, Pakistani broadcaster Geo News reported.

Khan tweeted video of the alleged assault, showing law enforcement armed with shields firing the chemical weapon.

"My house has been under heavy attack since yesterday afternoon," Khan said in a tweet that accompanied a picture of himself sitting at a table upon which was strew with what appeared to be dozens of tear gas shells and bullets.

He said law enforcement has used tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and live rounds in its assault on his home.

Punjab inspector General Usman Anwar told DawnNewsTV that 54 police officers had been "seriously injured" in the clashes since Tuesday.

"As far as tear gas and water canons are concerned, we are using them so that the arrest warrants can be executed," he said. "The law is the same for everyone."

In a tweet, Khan accused the government of using the arrest as a guise to kill him.

"Clearly 'arrest' claim was mere drama because real intent is to abduct & assassinate," he said . "There is no doubt of their mala fide intent."

Khan was the target of an assassination attempt in November.

This article originally appeared on UPI.com

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