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Pakistan blackouts bring violent protests

June 18, 2012 at 8:53 AM

KARACHI, Pakistan, June 18 (UPI) -- Violent protests flared in Pakistan's Punjab state over power shortages that stretched up to 22 hours, witnesses said.

Two police stations in Chichawatni were set on fire Sunday by angry protesters who blocked roads and railway lines, Dawn News reported.

In Khanewal, protesters ransacked power company offices and factories. Tear gas was used to disperse unruly mobs in Faisalabad.

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has called for a meeting Tuesday on the energy crisis, GEO News reported.

The Express Tribune said rolling blackouts have become so frequent they've disrupted daily life. Some areas, such as Jhang, Toba Tek Singh and Chiniot, receive power for only 3 hours a day.

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