Imran Khan: Petrol bombs thrown and shots fired at Pakistan police as they raid home of former prime minister | World News

Petrol bombs and stones have been hurled at police in Pakistan as they raided the home of former prime minister Imran Khan, during which shots were also fired.

Officers responded with tear gas as they clashed with baton-wielding supporters of the politician in the eastern city of Lahore on Saturday and arrested more than 60 people.

During the operation, a man on the roof of the sprawling compound opened fire.

At least three police officers were injured.

Police detain a supporter of former Prime Minister Imran Khan during a search operation in the Khan's residence, in Lahore, Pakistan, March 18, 2023. Pakistani police stormed former Prime Minister Khan's residence in the eastern city of Lahore on Saturday and arrested 61 people amid tear gas and clashes between Khan's supporters and police, officials said. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
More than 60 people were arrested as police stormed Mr Khan’s home. Pic: AP

Senior commander Suhail Sukhera said the security forces had to remove barricades erected by members of Mr Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

He said they blocked the lanes around the property with concrete blocks, felled trees, tents and a parked truck.

On breaking open the main door of the main residence, police said they found masks, petrol-filled bottles, iron rods and batons used in attacks on police during the past week.

Mr Khan was not at home, having travelled to Islamabad to appear before a judge to face corruption charges.

The judge postponed that hearing until 30 March.

Due to violence outside the judicial building between police and Mr Khan’s supporters, he was unable to reach the courtroom and so was allowed to sign his presence from his vehicle.

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Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan ‘prepared for arrest’

A top court on Friday had suspended Mr Khan’s arrest warrant, giving him a reprieve to travel to the court without being detained.

He had taken refuge at his home in Lahore since Tuesday, after failing to appear at an earlier hearing in the case.

His supporters had clashed with police for two days to protect him from arrest.

During his journey to Islamabad, Mr Khan said in a video message that the government had planned his detention despite him travelling to the hearing.

He said police had broken into his home while his wife was alone there.

He condemned the actions of police and demanded those responsible be prosecuted.

Supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan run for cover after police fire tear gas shell to disperse them during clashes, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, March 18, 2023. A top Pakistani court suspended an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Khan, giving him a reprieve to travel to Islamabad and face charges in a graft case without being detained. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
Clashes in Islamabad meant Mr Khan was unable to reach the courtroom. Pic: AP
Clashes in Islamabad meant Mr Khan was unable to reach the courtroom
Pic: AP

Mr Khan, 70, now in the opposition, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament last April.

He is accused of selling state gifts while in office and hiding his assets.

It is one in a series of cases the former cricket star has been facing since his ousting.

He has also claimed that his removal from power was part of a conspiracy by his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and the US.

Both Washington and Sharif’s government have denied the allegations.

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