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The clashes started after police officials surrounded the protesters at the sit-in area in Faizabad, on the road which connects Rawalpindi to Islamabad.

Protesters shout anti-government slogans during a sit-in protest at an entrance of Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.

Pakistani officials on Saturday summoned the army to restore order in Islamabad after hundreds of people were injured in violent protests over two weeks.

The Times reported at least 150 protesters were arrested. They support Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of Tehreek-e Labbaik Pakistan, the hardline Islamist movement spearheading demonstrations.

Security forces launched on Saturday a crackdown on religious protesters camping at Faizabad Intersection in Islamabad since November 8.

It's unclear why Pakistan would block social media sites, but it could be related to recent protests in the country.

Enraged protesters attacked the house of Law Minister Zahid Hamid here on Saturday.

The protesters want the resignation of law minister Zahid Hamid for altering the declaration of lawmakers with regard to Finality of the Prophethood - a change which the government has already reversed.

Protests also broke out in Lahore and the southern port city of Karachi, local media reported.

Six people were killed and 200, mostly police, were injured as police tried to clear the intersection linking the Pakistani capital with the garrison city of Rawalpindi, doctors at local hospitals said.

Markets and shops were closing in the megacity, Pakistan's commercial hub, as alarmed residents stayed inside while clerics called for more demonstrators to come and help protect the dignity of the Prophet Mohammed. The protest has triggered demonstrators to take to the streets of other cities across the country in solidarity, bringing them to a virtual standstill.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa called for both sides to avoid violence "as it is not in national interest". Social media networks including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were also blocked in various parts of the country.

Faizabad sit-in was causing a chaotic situation in the capital city.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, meanwhile, claimed that the protesters in Islamabad "contacted India" and that the Pakistan government is investigating the matter, a Dawn report said.

The protesters, numbering as many as 2,000, stood their ground, fighting back by throwing stones and beating police with sticks and metal rods in running battles that continued throughout the day.

"Politically driven procrastination has its own costs and this is what the government is paying", analyst Imtiaz Gul said.


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