Thousands of demonstrators from a banned Pakistani Islamist group clashed with police on Wednesday, killing and wounding several people from both sides, police and the group said.
The clash broke out at a rally of the banned Tehrik-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) on a highway in Sheikhupura district just outside the eastern city of Lahore, a spokesman for the Punjab police said on Wednesday, reports Reuters.
"TLP activists used SMG, AK 47 and pistols to target police officials as the result of which several officials were martyred," the spokesman said.
He said there were no details of the number killed but there were around 25 wounded.
The group said several of their activists had also been killed or wounded.
Thousands of TLP activists have blocked Pakistan's busiest highway since Friday, demanding the release of their leader and the expulsion of France's ambassador over the publication by a satirical magazine of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad.
After negotiations with the government failed, the demonstrators began marching towards the capital Islamabad on Wednesday.
Police said they had tried to block the march, which triggered the clashes.
The highway sit in followed clashes in the eastern city of Lahore on Friday that killed three police.