At least one person was killed and eight others were injured on Wednesday when police opened fire on a group of refugees protesting against lack of relief efforts in the Taliban-infested northwest region of Pakistan.
The refugees, displaced by the military operations against the Taliban in the Bajaur tribal region, gathered near the Jalozai camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nowshera in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) this morning to protest against lack of facilities.
Police initially resorted to baton-charge to disperse the protesters, who had blocked the busy GT Road linking Islamabad and Peshawar.
However, clashes erupted between the two sides when protesters hurled stones at the police.
TV channels beamed footage of protesters wielding sticks clashing with policemen. Police then used teargas and opened fire on protesters killing one person and injuring eight, the channels said. Two of the injured were in critical condition.
The protesters, who blamed police for the violence, took three policemen hostage but freed them after negotiations with local officials.
The protesters said they were holding a peaceful demonstration when police opened fire on them.
They also asked Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to take suo motu action to stop the military operations in Bajaur, which had resulted in the destruction of their homes.