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Christians protest across the country, force blockade of highways and main roads in major cities; one woman killed in Islamabad, dozens injured in violence and ransacking incidents

PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/KARACHI, Sept 23 (INP): Christian Community across the country, highly agitated against the Peshawar Church massacre, stood up in arm on Monday blocking highways and arteries, indulged in firing and ransacking to register their strong protest over the inhuman act which claimed more than 80 lives. They held protest demonstrations in all the major cities and by burning tyres blocked highways between Peshawar and Karachi as well as link roads causing miles of long queues. The protests severely affected the normal life and in the violence dozens of people were injured. Christians in Islamabad and Rawalpindi blocked the Expressway and when the traffic was being diverted, a woman coming from Lahore died and her son seriously injured in an accident. The injured was rushed to hospital in serious condition. Stick carrying protestors also badly beaten up the bike riders and smashed the cars. Traffic on the Expressway remained suspended for several hours and the police looked helpless. The Christian community also took out a rally in Blue Area of the capital which reached the D Chowk in front of the parliament and staged a sit-in. In Karachi, Christian community protested at Korani, Landhi, Essa Nagri, Nazimabad, Orangi town, Regal Chowk and other places, burnt tyres, threw stones at the vehicles and fired in the air. Police fired tear gas shells to control the enraged masses. Several persons were injured in the pelting of stones and firing. In Hyderabad, Christian community held protests at Latifabad No. 5 and 10 and raised slogans against the terrorists. In Lahore, the protestors blocked Lahore-Multan highway while demonstrations were held by the Lahore High Court Bar Association at the GPO Chowk. Reports of similar protests have also come in from Peshawar, Quetta, Bahawalpur, Sargodha, Vehari, Burewala, Pakpattan, Khanewal, Chicha Watni, Sahiwal, Sialkot, Okara, Sangla Hill, Khuzdar, Karak and other places. The protestors demanded immediate arrest of those behind the suicide attack and award of exemplary punishment to them in addition to compensation to the families of those killed and injured in the gory incident. INP/AH/SB


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