Supporters block Pakistan ex-PM’s arrest

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has taken refuge in his home in Lahore as he faces arrest while hundreds of supporters kept police at bay overnight.

Police fought pitched battles with supporters of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party near his Zaman Park residence throughout the night, firing teargas and dodging rocks thrown by angry crowds, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We are here basically to execute the warrants and to arrest him,” Syed Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari, deputy inspector general of Islamabad police, told reporters Tuesday outside Khan’s residence.

Khan released a video before dawn warning supporters of the arrest and teargassing “without justification.”

“The way the police attack our people… there is no precedent for this,” Khan said in the video, according to AFP.

“Water canons, teargas… they shelled inside the house where there were servants and women.”

Videos showing bloodied and injured supporters is also being circulated on social media by PTI accounts, with one party official calling for first aid kits at the Zaman Park neighborhood.

It was the second attempt to arrest Khan on charges that he allegedly did not declare gifts received during his time as prime minister, or the profit made from selling them.

In the previous arrest attempt, officers were met by hundreds of Khan supporters, some wielding sticks and hurling stones, draped in the red-and-green PTI flags.

PTI deputy leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters on Tuesday that police should deliver the arrest warrant to the 70-year-old former cricket star.

Khan was ousted from office by a no-confidence vote last year. He is campaigning for early elections and a return to office.

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