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Pakistan Court Orders Suspension of Top Police Chief, Other Officials


Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered the suspension of Islamabad's police chief and other city officials in the wake of a widely condemned crackdown that wounded dozens of journalists and lawyers on Saturday.

The suspension order was issued by Pakistan's top judge Iftikhar Chaudhry Monday after he summoned police and administrative officials to the Supreme Court to explain what happened.

Pakistan police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse the protesters after they gathered outside the Election Commission and Supreme Court buildings.

The weekend protests began after the Election Commission approved General Musharraf's nomination to run for another term while maintaining his post as army chief.

The crackdown has heightened tensions between embattled President General Pervez Musharraf and the country's opposition ahead of upcoming presidential elections October 6.

On Sunday, hundreds of Pakistani journalists staged rallies across the country to condemn the police violence and General Musharraf's bid for another five-year term in office.

Last week, the Election Commission approved only six of 43 candidates who applied to run for the presidency.

In addition to General Musharraf, his two main challengers are retired Judge Wajihuddin Ahmed and Makhdoom Amin Fahim, the vice chairman of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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