Police and Frontier Constabulary personnel used tear gas shells to disperse thousands of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) protesters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swabi en route to Islamabad on Monday to join the party’s planned Nov 2 ‘lockdown’ of the capital.
Around 5,000 stick-wielding party workers tried to remove barricades put in place by police using cranes near the Swabi Interchange when law enforcement personnel began using tear gas shelling and rubber bullets against the protesters to deter them.
TV footage showed protesters fleeing from clouds of tear gas after leaving the cranes where they were.
Some protesters also fainted due to the shelling, while others were injured by rubber bullets. Those affected were taken to hospitals, DawnNews reported.
The area is an hour and a half’s drive away from the capital.
PTI leaders Arif Alvi and Imran Ismail were released after a brief detention by Islamabad police on Monday.
The two men were taken into custody near Imran Khan’s Bani Gala residence after they threatened to launch a sit-in in the area to protest the arrests of party workers, according to media reports.