At least three persons were feared dead and 200 others have been injured in clashes between police and anti-government protesters in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
Violent broke out when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at anti-government protesters who attempted to storm Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s official residence.
The shelling began when the protestors tried to remove some barricades located in front of the residence using cranes.
The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) reported two deaths – one man who had sustained rubber bullet injuries and another who had died of a heart attack, spokespeople said.
Some of the injured were rushed to the city’s two major hospitals, PIMS and Poly Clinic.
Since 15 August, protesters have been demanding that Mr. Sharif quit.
They are claiming that the election which ushered in the PM last year was rigged, though international observers said the vote was largely free and fair.
Imran Khan, opposition politician and cleric Tahir ul-Qadri are also demanding the election be cancelled in its totality, calling for an interim unity government.
Information Minister, Pervaiz Rashid, Sunday, said the government remained open to negotiations in order to end the situation peacefully.
“The government did not initiate the clashes. They turned violent and tried to enter sensitive government buildings, which are the symbol of the state,” he told a local television channel.
Meanwhile, the government said Mr. Sharif would not be stepping down.