Pakistan cinemas torched on day of rage against anti-Islam film

Credit: Telegraph UK

Protesters torched two cinemas in north-western Pakistan on Friday as clashes broke out in several cities at the start of a nationwide day of demonstrations at an anti-Muslim film.

Expat workers stayed at home, mobile phone signals were turned off and security forces sealed off roads leading to diplomatic missions and government offices in the capital Islamabad as the country went into lock-down.

The demonstrations began even before Friday prayers, which usually mark the start of trouble.

A crowd of several hundred angry demonstrators armed with clubs and bamboo sticks set fire to two cinemas in the conservative, northwestern city of Peshawar, police and witnesses said.

At least one protester was wounded when a guard opened fire as the crowd smashed up one of the picture houses, setting furniture ablaze, police officer Gohar Ali told AFP.

Witnesses said a rampaging crowd stormed the Shama cinema, notorious locally for showing films considered to be pornographic, smashing windows and setting it on fire.


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