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Pakistan: 4 killed in clashes with police near shut Afghan border | Pakistan News

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Islamabad, Pakistan – At least four people have been killed and 28 wounded in clashes between protesters and security forces in the western Pakistani border town of Chaman, according to local officials.

The clashes began on Thursday when thousands of protesters – who have been holding a sit-in demanding that the border crossing with Afghanistan be reopened – stormed government offices near the border, local officials said.

“Four people were killed, including a woman, in that clash,” said Zakaullah Durrani, a senior government official. “And there was firing until 1am [local time, 21:00 GMT on Thursday].”

On Friday morning, protesters once again attempted to damage government property, Durrani said, prompting fresh clashes that wounded eight people, including three security personnel.

Meanwhile, government officials held a high-level meeting on Friday, before planned negotiations with the protesters later in the day, Durrani told Al Jazeera.

Security issues, pandemic

Chaman border crossing is one of the main crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the former’s Balochistan province.

The government has, in the past, allowed free movement of local labourers across the border into Afghanistan and back to Pakistan to engage in trade and daily wage labour.

But the border has been shut to pedestrians for weeks due to security concerns and the coronavirus pandemic, according to Zia Langove, Balochistan home minister.

It was briefly reopened earlier this week, before security concerns forced its closure, Langove told reporters on Thursday. The fresh closure of the border prompted the ongoing sit-in protest.

Langove blamed the violence on “miscreants” among the protesters who he alleged were attempting to prompt security forces to fire on the crowd.

“Those labourers tried to cross the border and they also attacked the [government-run] quarantine centre and [National Database and Registration Authority] centre there,” he said. “There was firing, and those miscreants who tried to take advantage of the situation, they also played a role to fan the flames.”

Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest but least populated province, and suffers widespread poverty and deprivation. The province has a 1,000km-long (621 miles) border with Pakistan’s western neighbour Afghanistan.

In areas like Chaman, the border has historically been porous, with the international boundary running through the middle of many villages.

The daily wage labourers holding the protest have demanded the border be reopened so that they can return to their jobs, which require crossing the boundary.

Asad Hashim is Al Jazeera’s digital correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim.
Additional reporting by Saadullah Akhtar in Quetta.

Pakistani soldiers keep guard as citizens return from Afghanistan at the border-crossing town of Chaman [Fi;e: Drazen Jorgic/ Reuters]





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

ChangeYouCanTrust

CountryBeforeSelf

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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

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The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail

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Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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