World At least seven police officers taken hostage by anti-France...

At least seven police officers taken hostage by anti-France protesters

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648x415 policiers pakistan illustration

Police officers in Pakistan, illustration – Arif ALI / AFP

At least seven Pakistani police officers were taken hostage on Sunday in Lahore by anti-France protesters belonging to a radical Islamist party, a police spokesperson said.

“Members of TLP,” the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan party, “are holding five policemen and two members of the Ranger Corps hostage,” said Rana Arif, police spokesperson in Lahore.

Anti-France demonstration

In a tweet, Firdous Ashiq Awan, spokesperson for the government of Punjab province, said up to twelve police officers may have been kidnapped and taken to the TLP mosque in Lahore, where hundreds of anti-protesters are gathered. France.

They have been protesting since Monday against the imprisonment of their leader, who was arrested for asking for the expulsion of the French ambassador. Anti-France protests took place in several cities across the country, leading to the deaths of six police officers and leading the French embassy to call on its nationals to temporarily leave the country.

Request for the expulsion of the French Ambassador

According to Firdous Ashiq Awan, “violent groups armed with Molotov cocktails and bottles of acid invaded the Nawankot police station this morning”. Officials of the TLP, an officially banned party, said several members of their movement were killed on Sunday.

“We will not bury them until the French ambassador is deported,” Allama Muhammad Shafiq Amini, a TLP leader in Lahore, said in a video posted online.

The TLP has embarked on an anti-French campaign since President Emmanuel Macron defended Charlie Hebdo’s right to publish the Muhammad cartoons, an act they deem blasphemous.

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