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Pakistan Crackdown Arrests Islamic Cleric, Hundreds of Followers

Nationwide massive police crackdown in Pakistan has detained hundreds of leaders and activists of an Islamist party, which recently staged crippling street protests against the Supreme Court's acquittal of a Christian woman on death row for blasphemy.Authorities said Saturday that a majority of the arrests took place in the country's most populous province of Punjab, the power base of the ultra-right Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party.The crackdown began late Friday and TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi, was among the first detainees, along with many of deputies. Rizvi's arrest sparked violent clashes with police in some areas. Police and hospital officials said several people were injured.The religious party had organized three days of crippling protests countrywide earlier this month to denounce the top Pakistani court for acquitting Asia Bibi, a member of the minority Christian community who had spent eight years on death row for allegedly insulting Islam's Prophet Mohammad...........................

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Helpline 1090