Pakistan on alert after riots over Bugti's killing
Curfew was imposed in Quetta and paramilitary forces deployed as angry demonstrators torched buses and buildings.Updated: Aug 28, 2006 12:09 IST
Pakistan was on alert for further unrest on Monday after violent rioting over the death of a top tribal leader in a military air strike.
Three people including a policeman died in clashes and hundreds were arrested as protesters went on the rampage in southwestern province of Balochistan, where a rebellion has simmered over the past two years.
Curfew was imposed in Quetta and paramilitary forces deployed as angry demonstrators torched buses and buildings, exchanging fire with police and setting off a bomb at a government office south of the provincial capital.
Authorities braced for more trouble on Monday after an alliance of four Baloch parties called for a general strike over the death of colourful tribal chieftain Nawab Akbar Bugti.
The government said that in view of the law and order situation all educational institutions in Quetta would remain closed on Monday.
Traffic was thin and markets were shut in several Balochistan towns and cities.
Bugti, a figurehead of the Baloch insurgency, was one of more than 20 people killed in a major attack on his hideout in the province's mountains in strikes launched on Friday.
"We have asked the government to hand over the body of Nawab Akbar Bugti to us because he is a national hero and we want to bury him befittingly," said Kachkol Ali, leader of the four-party alliance.
Information minister Muhammad Ali Durrani said body of Bugti was still buried under the rubble and the government would hand over it to the relatives when found and added that the work was in progress to dig out bodies.