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Pakistan arrests 300 supporters of detained extremist party leader

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Police in Pakistan have arrested some 300 supporters of a detained radical Islamic cleric who disrupted daily life with nationwide rallies following the acquittal of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.

On Friday, police in the city of Lahore arrested Khadim Hussain Rizvi, leader of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party.

Senior police officer Tahir Mahmood said Saturday that supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party were picked up in sweeps across Punjab province following the arrest of its leader.

Police also arrested scores of Rizvi’s supporters as they took to streets to protest his overnight arrest.

Rizvi’s supporters held violent rallies against the Supreme Court’s October 31 acquittal of Aasia Bibi. He has called for more protests on Sunday in the capital, Islamabad.

Pakistan’s hard-line Islamists have threatened to kill anyone who insults Islam or who speaks out against the blasphemy law.

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