Pak calls in army to quell protest over anti-Islam film
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At least 50 people, including policemen, were injured as thousands of protesters, angry over an anti-Islam film, today clashed with security forces and tried to breach the sensitive diplomatic enclave in the Pakistani capital, forcing authorities to call in the army.
Members of student groups, including the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba, began gathering outside the Red Zone in the heart of Islamabad, which includes the US embassy, Indian High Commission and missions of other countries as also sensitive government buildings, at around 2 pm in large numbers to protest against the anti Islam film 'Innocence of Muslims'.
The crowds swelled about two hours later as thousands of members of hardline religious groups, including Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat and Jamaat-ud-Dawah, came to Islamabad from Rawalpindi in a rally.
The Indian High Commission is located less than a kilometre from the gate of the diplomatic enclave.
All Indians in the diplomatic area are safe and they are inside the country's mission, sources said.
The protesters fought running battles with riot police for almost three hours. They lobbed stones at police, who used tear gas, rubber bullets and batons while trying to disperse them.
At least 36 policemen and about 15 protesters wereinjured.
After police failed to bring the situation under control, the Interior Ministry called in the army to quell the protest.
The unrest lasted for five hours and came to an end after after sunset. More police and para-military forces have been deployed to maintain order.
The protesters burnt at least two police posts.
They gathered in large numbers near the five-star Serena Hotel, located a short distance from the diplomatic enclave.
Though authorities had blocked some roads with empty containers, scores of protesters made their way past the barriers.
Footage on TV showed several injured policemen, their uniforms stained with blood, being taken away to safety by their colleagues.
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