- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Hundreds of Islamic extremists who earlier violently protested in Islamabad over the hanging of a man who killed a secular governor continued their demonstrations in Pakistan’s capital on Tuesday, despite warnings from the government targeting extremists.

The rally by Pakistan’s Sunni Tehreek group saw more than 10,000 protesters enter Islamabad on Sunday, damaging buildings and bus stations. On Tuesday, local police official Mohammad Kashif said some 700 remained, bringing the most sensitive parts of the capital to a standstill.

The protesters are demanding Pakistan strictly enforce Shariah, or Islamic, law, after the hanging of police officer Mumtaz Qadri, who killed Gov. Salman Taseer in 2011. The group also demands a Christian woman named Aasia Bibi, who is accused of blasphemy and who Taseer supported, be hanged.

Tuesday’s sit-in continued despite Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s overnight warning that his government will fight extremists. His comments followed the massive suicide bombing that targeted Christians gathered for Easter in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore, an attack that killed 72 people.

Hours after Sunday’s attacks, a breakaway Taliban faction, which publicly supports the Islamic State group, claimed responsibility, without offering further details. The attack shocked the nation and the army responded by launching raids on suspected militant hideouts in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, of which Lahore is the capital.

More than 300 suspects have been detained in the raids in the past 48 hours, a security official said. Another official also confirmed nearly 300 arrests and said most of those detained were suspected to belong to outlawed militant and extremist groups.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to publicly speak to journalists.

The military also had intensified its operation against militants in the North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan in June 2014 following December 2014 attack on a school in the city of Peshawar that killed 150 people, mainly children.

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