At least four policemen were martyred and over 250 others were injured as thousands of workers of the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) clashed with law-enforcement personnel near Sadhoke in Gujranwala district.
The clash broke out at a rally of the banned TLP on a highway in Sheikhupura, just outside Lahore, a spokesman for the Punjab police told Reuters.
“TLP activists used SMG, AK-47 and pistols to target police officials as the result of which several officials were martyred,” the spokesman said.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, in a tweet, confirmed that four police personnel were martyred due to firing by TLP workers, adding that 253 others had been injured in the violence.
The fresh clashes between the banned party and the police came as the outfit resumed its march towards Islamabad after talks with the government fell through.
Meanwhile, the government has also mobilized to deal with the protests, mobile service has been suspended in Gujranwala city and the citizens are facing difficulties due to the closure of the service.
Five cops have laid their lives in the line of duty since TLP marchers start their 'long march' from Lahore.
Authorities have deployed Punjab Rangers personnel on the Jehlum Bridge to stop the advance of the TLP protesters towards the capital Islamabad.
The interior minister told reporters that three police officers had been killed and 70 wounded, adding that the government had deployed paramilitary troops in the Pakistani province of Punjab to help manage the situation.
“They will be there for 60 days. I have given them authority that they could go to anywhere they want in Punjab,” he told reporters. “I’m still warning the TLP to please back off.”