Ishq-e-Rasool Day: 20 killed, over 200 wounded in protests across Pakistan

Cinemas, banks, vehicles and fuel stations were torched, while markets were also vandalised.



Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool (pbuh) [love of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Day] was observed throughout Pakistan on Friday on the orders of the Government of Pakistan, condemning the anti-Islam film.

After Friday prayers, protests erupted in several cities across the country which soon turned violent. As the police remained unable to control the protesters, a loss to life and property was reported.

A total of 20 people were killed across the country and more than 200 were wounded during the protests. Cinemas, banks, vehicles and fuel stations were torched, while markets were also vandalised.

Two police officials were also killed during clashes in Karachi.

The central leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUI-F) Maulana Fazal Rehman commended the nation over successful protests across the country against the anti-Islam film.

Political parties have called for observing a day of sorrow on Saturday over those killed in Karachi on Friday. Transporters in the city have also announced their decision to keep their vehicles off the roads.

Three PTI supporters killed

Three supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) were killed and 35 were injured when the police allegedly opened fire on them at the Native Jetty Bridge as they were making their way to the party’s rally at Empress Market.

Around 50 other PTI protesters were arrested at the Kemari Police Station.

Talking to The Express Tribune, the party’s spokesperson Faisal Vawda condemned the act and said that the supporters were unarmed and were not creating any havoc. He said that the government is to be blamed for this act "as it had instructed the police to open fire at citizens".

“Once again the government has proved that it’s actually the criminals who are running its machinery,” he said. “The government did not react to the people who looted banks and burnt public and private properties while it ordered to kill innocent protesters.”

He added that the party will define a strategy and fight against the killings. The party leaders visited the families of the deceased late Friday night.

The funeral prayers of the deceased workers, Qari Khalid, Ghaffar and Shafiq, will be held at 10am on Saturday at KPT Ground. The party also plans to lodge an FIR against the government tomorrow against the killings.

End of live updates

9:50pm

At least 15 people have been killed and more than 200 wounded during the protests, including 10 in Karachi and five in Peshawar, hospital officials told AFP.

The combined total of wounded in Karachi, Peshawar and in the capital Islamabad has reached 219.

A doctor at Karachi's Jinnah hospital told AFP they had received five dead and 65 people with injuries, while the city's Civil hospital said it had also had five bodies, including that of a police officer, and at least 40 injured.

Hospital doctors in Peshawar gave a combined total of 79 people wounded.

In Islamabad, a doctor at the Services Hospital said 35 people were brought in with injuries, including eight policemen and four civilians with gunshot wounds.

9:29pm

A total of five cinemas have been gutted down in Karachi, including Nishat, Capri and Bambino in Saddar and Gulistan and Nargas in Quaidabad.

9:08pm

Protesters torch a church in the Mardan town of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

8:59pm

Talking to the media in Islamabad, Interior Minister Rehman Malik expressed regret over the suspension of mobile phone services in Pakistan, reported Radio Pakistan.

Malik also expressed sorrow over the loss of lives during riots and asserted that the government had protested at every level against the blasphemous film.

8:33pm

Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) president Nawaz Sharif has appealed to the protesters to remain peaceful.

7:40pm

The combined total of wounded in Karachi, Peshawar and in the capital Islamabad has reached 195, according to AFP.

Doctor Mohammad Shafqat of Karachi’s Jinnah hospital told AFP that it had received four dead bodies and 65 people with injuries, with more wounded arriving.

Doctor Mohammad Ayub at the Civil hospital, said his medics had received five dead bodies, including that of a police officer, and at least 40 injured.

7:28pm

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain appealed to the people that if they love Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), then they should keep the protests peaceful “at all costs”.

Hussain also appealed to the UN and OIC to take immediate notice of the blasphemous film and the cartoons published in France. He said that the world might see the third world war if action was not taken against them.

7:08pm

The US Chargé D'Affaires Ambassador Richard Hoagland was summoned by the Foreign Ministry and a strong protest was lodged with him over the blasphemous video.

He was told that the US government should immediately take measures to remove the sacrilegious video from YouTube and take action against its maker.

Ambassador Hoagland reiterated his government’s position as well that of the US leadership that they strongly condemned the video. He stated that a vast majority of the American people have also condemned it.

6:53pm

Cell phone services have been suspended again in Karachi.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf have expressed grief over the death of ARY TV worker Muhammad Amir in Peshawar.

In separate messages, they urged the nation to remain peaceful during the protests.

The president and the prime minister said that a peaceful protest was the appropriate way of expressing sentiments.

6:47pm

Death toll in Karachi riots reach 14, reports Express News. More than 80 people are reported to be injured in the city.

6:44pm

Rangers have been summoned in Lahore to disperse the protesters.

Karachi Deputy Commissioner South Mustafa Kazi told the media that around 100 protesters have been arrested by the police so far.

6:27pm

Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira criticised the ongoing protests and said that this was not the right way of expressing love for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). “Pakistan is the only Muslim country in the world which has lodged a protest on a state-level,” he remarked.

Kaira stated that it was the national responsibility to provide security to embassies and consulate in Pakistan. “We have our consulates in the world as well.”

Religious leader Mufti Naeem also disapproved of the violent protests and maintained that the ulema community should make a strong appeal and talk to the people.

“This is our government’s fault. The government provided this opportunity to the people. It should have sent a representative to the US to lodge a protest and should have boycotted the US products instead of declaring a day like this,” he maintained.

6:21pm

Express News is reporting that a blast was heard near the Native Jetty Bridge in Karachi.

6:03pm

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, speaking to Express News, expressed support for the protests but maintained that the damage done to property during riots was helping fulfill the “enemies' ambitions”.

“I have given instructions to the administration to talk to the ulema and the protesters instead of using force,” he said and added that force had to be used in Lahore when some protesters tried to reach the US Consulate. “Otherwise, the protests were kept peaceful with interactions.”

5:57pm

Unidentified men opened fire at Hyderabad Press Club.

Mobile services have also been partially restored in Peshawar.

A cinema located on Toghi Road in Quetta has been set on fire.

5:47pm

Three police vans have been torched outside the Chief Minister House in Karachi.

5:36pm

During riots in Karachi, three police vans, five cars, five cinemas and five banks have been torched so far.

Ten people have died in the protests, including two policemen.

5:16pm

Cellular services in Karachi and Lahore have been partially restored.

5:07pm

A fast-food restaurant in the industrial area of Karachi has been set on fire, while a cinema in the Landhi area has been trashed.

4:55pm

Express News reports that two more cinemas on MA Jinnah Road, other than Nishat Cinema, have been torched by protesters.

4:49pm

Visuals from the Faizabad area of Rawalpindi showed police vehicles on fire.

Protesters have also targeted the fire brigade in Karachi.

4:45pm

Protesters have torched a petrol pump in the Faizabad area of Rawalpindi.

4:41pm

There is no sign of police in the Aabpara area of Rawalpindi.

Two banks have been torched near PIDC in Karachi.

Protesters are reported to be looting shops and businesses near PIDC. The area is close to one of the routes that lead to the US Consulate in Karachi.

4:39pm

According to Geo News, Prince Cinema in Karachi has also been set on fire.

Five police vehicles have been set ablaze in the Faizabad area of Rawalpindi. Protesters and the police have been regularly clashing in the area.

4:37pm

A private bank on GT Road, Peshawar, has also been set on fire.

4:35pm

Express News correspondent Qamar ul Munawar in Islamabad reports that the direction of the wind is towards the police, due to which the tear gas is flowing towards them instead of the protesters.

In Lahore, the protesters are reported to be close to the US Consulate.

PPI reports that cellular services will remain suspended till 6pm.

Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Jhang, Multan, Khanewal‚ Chakwal‚ Kot Moman‚ Attock‚ Murree and Chakri are currently facing suspended cellular services.

4:32pm

Protesters in Islamabad’s Red Zone reach the last barricade of containers and continue to clash with the police. Express News reported that around 15,000 more protesters have entered the Red Zone.

A bank on MA Jinnah Road in Lahore has been set on fire.

4:27pm

Protesters in Karachi set Nishat Cinema on fire.

4:24pm

Two police officials have been killed so far. The second casualty came after a policeman injured during clashes at Sohrab Goth passed away.

During an ASWJ protest in Karachi, a dog was seen wrapped in the US flag among the protesters.

Protesters and police officials continue to clash in PIDC area of Karachi.

4:03pm

A police official who was injured during the clash at Native Jetty Bridge has passed away.

4:00pm

Protesters in Islamabad are pelting stones at the police in efforts to enter the heavily-guarded diplomatic enclave. The police, in turn, fired tear gas at them.

3:55pm

In Lahore, one police official was injured during a clash with the protesters, who have managed to cross over the containers that were placed to block them. They say that they want to go to the US Consulate to register their protest.

In Karachi, the police resorted to aerial firing at the Native Jetty Bridge to disperse the protesters. Protests have also emerged in the Numaish area of Karachi.

3:48pm

Protesters were successful in removing containers from Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam. They are marching towards US Consulate.

3:43pm

Police started aerial firing as an influx of protesters marched towards Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam in Lahore.

3:38pm

A youngster in Lahore jumped off a pole during a protest. He was shifted to a nearby hospital where his condition is said to be critical.

3:32pm

Police officials at the Red Zone appear to be helpless in front of the protesters. The protesters have gloves on and are picking up the teargas shells to hurl them back at the police.

Many police personnel have passed out.

3:24pm

A heavy contingent of police has been deployed at Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam in Lahore in order to obstruct the movement of a rally proceeding towards the road.

3:18pm

Aerial monitoring of the Red Zone is being done by helicopters.

3:10pm

According to Express News correspondent Qamarul Munawwar, a vigourous clash took place between the police and the protesters at the Red Zone in Islamabad.

Munawwar reported that protesters hurled burning tyres and stones at the police and crossed the barriers placed by the police and have entered the Red Zone.

The police personnel have taken positions to start shelling.

Rangers deployed around Diplomatic Enclave have been alerted.

3:03pm

Protests have sparked in Sohrab Goth, Gurumandar and Khudadad Chowrangi areas of Karachi, while three people have been injured in firing incidents in Steel Town.

Angry protesters blocked National Highway in Karachi.

Death toll in Karachi has reached four.

2:50pm

Police in Islamabad had to resort to aerial firing in order to disperse protesters as they were setting up containers to create cordon points. The protesters, armed with sticks and stones, have been attacking the police and have also destroyed billboards and traffic signals on the route.

Close to 200 protesters from the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat (ASWJ) have gathered at the Qayyumabad Chowrangi in Karachi.

2:40pm

Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) protesters have moved towards the Red Zone in Islamabad. Containers have been placed at all entry and exit points and security personnel are also present.

Gen (retd) Hamid Gul was also seen addressing protesters. It has been reported that Rehman Malik had earlier asked DPC members not to move towards the Red Zone.

Protesters trying to enter Islamabad via the Faizabad Interchange have clashed with the police. Police has resorted to using teargas.

2:30pm

All routes leading to Mall Road have been blocked. Those traveling on foot or on cycles have made it to the area. It has also been reported that an equal number of people are also making their way to the area.

Express News correspondent Talib Faridi has reported that demonstrators have said that they will continue with their “peaceful” protest till action is taken against the film.

Protesters in the area also pelted stones and tried to move containers that have been placed to block routes.

2:25pm

The situation is reported to be tense in parts of Karachi. Rioting has been reported in the Sohrab Goth and Super Highway areas of the city.

2:21pm

Talib Faridi of Express News reported that a huge rally has congregated at Mall Road in Lahore, with participants from Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q), members of the civil society, lawyers and shopkeepers from Mall Road and Anarkali bazaars.

2:12pm

The Interior Ministry has summoned U.S. Charge d' Affaires Ambassador Richard Hoagland and asked him to get the film removed from YouTube.

1:52pm

Islamabad police confronted protesters near Faizabad Bridge.

An Ishq-e-Rasool Conference is being held at Governor House Punjab in which members of all religious parties have participated.

Three resolutions have been passed during the conference determining steps that will be taken in the future against any blasphemous moves. The resolutions also seek assistance from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and Muslim countries.

1:27pm

The entry and exit points of Islamabad have been sealed.

1:24pm

Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif said that the Government of Punjab condemns the anti-Islam film and that the entire nation is protesting against it.

He said that the film is a form of “open terrorism”. Sharif further said that disrespect of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) cannot be tolerated.

“All the entry and exit points of Karachi are heavily guarded. Helicopters are on stand-by for aerial surveillance,” provincial police chief Fayyaz Laghari told AFP.

“We have deployed our maximum police force to the sensitive parts of the city to ensure security during protest rallies today,” he added.

1:13pm

Newsweek Pakistan, in a message posted on Twitter, reported that a correspondent of ARY News was killed by police bullets in Peshawar. However, Express News reported that a driver named Muhammad Amir, employed by a private TV channel was killed in the incident.

1:02pm

The building of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been set ablaze by protesters.

1:00pm

Express News correspondent Imran Asghar reported that Islamabad police has ran out of rubber bullets as a result of heavy firing.

He said that when protesters in Rawalpindi ran out of tyres to burn, they broke into tyre shops located at the Pir Widai Road and stole tyres from there.

A control room has been established in the Red Zone in Islamabad on the orders of Chief Commissioner. The control room is tasked to monitor the security situation and keep the Interior Ministry updated.

Different political and religious parties, including Jamaat-e-Islami, Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen, Jamaatud Dawa, Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, Jamaatud Dawa, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, have announced that rallies will be taken out after Friday prayers.

12:43pm

Three police officials in Rawalpindi and one in Peshawar fell unconscious after teargas was fired.

A number of protesters were also injured during firing in Peshawar.

Protesters in Gujranwala burnt effigies of US President Barack Obama during a demonstration.

12:35pm

A 2kg bomb recovered from Bhana Mari area of Peshawar has been defused.

12:33pm

Express News correspondent Naeem Qaiser reported that all the roads leading to the Office of Consul General of US located at Shimla Pahari have been blocked with containers, while Mall Road that leads to US Consulate in Lahore has also been blocked.

Aftab Khan from Karachi reported that Jamaatud Dawa, Jamaat-e-Islami have announced that they will hold rallies after Friday prayers. The rally will march from Guru Mandir to US Consulate.

12:22pm

Roads leading to the US Consulate have been sealed in Karachi.

12:20pm

A contingent of Pakistan Army has been deployed around the US Consulate in Peshawar in order to thwart any possible terror bid.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has ordered that security in Islamabad be tightened and that no members of banned outfits will be allowed into the city. He said that directives in this regard have been issued to the Inspector General of Police Islamabad.

12:15pm

A demonstration organised by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is being carried out in Quetta.

The protesters in Peshawar said that they will proceed towards the US Consulate after Friday prayers.

12:10pm

Express News correspondent Islamuddin reported that many protesters fainted as a result of the teargas shelled by the police. They have been shifted to Lady Reading Hospital.

He added that an additional contingent of police has been deployed around Firdous Cinema, while the fire brigade has been called to put out the fire. Islamuddin said that cinema’s interior has been completely destroyed by the fire.

12:02pm

Police opened fire and fired teargas shells to disperse the mob in Peshawar.

Section 144 has been imposed in Islamabad.

11:59am

The Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat (ASWJ) has taken out a rally in Hyderabad in which protesters are burning US flags.

Members of the Sikh Community are also protesting against the sacrilegious film in Nankana Sahib.

11:49am

Protesters in Peshawar set ablaze Firdous Cinema and destroyed shops located nearby.

COMMENTS (170)

Sajid | 9 years ago | Reply instead of killing our Pakistani Brothers we need to kill Americans in Pakistan spicily Black Water etc.
Muhammad | 9 years ago | Reply Karachi's party was behind all this riots.. otherwise protests were peaceful.. It is apparent from CCTV footage.. It is media who's responsible for all this bad image building.. shame on you!
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