PAKISTAN – In an apparent case of red, white and blue revenge, a Pakistani protester died yesterday after inhaling smoke from a burning American flag during an anti-US rally.
Abdullah Ismail succumbed at Mayo Hospital in Lahore a day after attending the fierce protest at the city’s Mall Road, where an estimated 10,000 people rallied.
Witnesses said Ismail had complained of feeling ill after breathing fumes from burning flags, Pakistan’s Express Tribune reported.
Another Pakistani protester was killed during clashes with police yesterday after demonstrators set a press club ablaze, apparently angry that their protest of an anti-Islam film wasn’t getting enough media coverage.
Hundreds set fire to the club in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s Upper Dir area, authorities said. Police said cops charged the crowd, beating them with batons.
The mob then set a government office ablaze.
The protester died and several were wounded when police and the demonstrators exchanged gunfire, police said.
Also yesterday, a man died after being shot in the head Sunday during a march in which hundreds of people broke through a barricade to get to the US Consulate in the southern city of Karachi.
There were more clashes in Karachi yesterday as demonstrators from the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami party tried to reach the consulate.
Police lobbed tear gas, fired rounds in the air and made 40 arrests. No injuries were reported.
Pakistanis have also held many peaceful protests against the film, which critically portrays the prophet Mohammed. One held in the southwest town of Chaman yesterday was attended by about 3,000 students and teachers.
The chief justice of Pakistan’s supreme court ordered the state telecommunications authority to block the film on YouTube because it is considered blasphemous.