Police in Pakistan's capital Islamabad fired tear gas on anti-government protesters attempting to storm Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's official residence late Saturday in a bid to force his resignation.
The tear gas shelling began when the protestors tried to remove some barricades located in front of the residences of the prime minister and president. "The police are continuing to fire teargas to disperse them," an AFP journalist at the scene said.
A spokesman for the government-run Pakistan Institute for Medical Sciences, Islamabad's main government hospital, said: "We have not yet received any casualties, but we are on high alert."
Around 25,000 supporters of opposition leader Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri were involved in the clashes with thousands of police officials. Paramilitary troops and soldiers standing guard to protect the PM's house as well as other sensitive installations have not yet been called into action.
The state-owned Pakistan Television quoted defence minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif as saying: "No one would be allowed to enter inside the sensitive buildings." The protesters have been camped outside parliament since August 15 demanding Sharif quit, claiming the election which swept him to power last year was rigged. They began their march on the prime minister's house late Saturday.