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ISLAMABAD: Thousands of workers of Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) clashed with police for a second day on Tuesday in protest against the arrest of their leader ahead of rallies denouncing French cartoons, officials said.

At least one activist and one police officer died from wounds suffered overnight after they blocked highways, rail tracks and main entry and exit routes, paralysing business in almost all major cities.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, government official Naveed Zaman told Reuters, adding that they had refused to leave until the release of their leader, Saad Rizvi, who was arrested on Monday.

Rizvi is the head of Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), that rose to prominence making the denunciation of blasphemy against Islam its rallying cry. The protesters beat one officer, who died on Tuesday, and wounded at least 40, a police spokesman in Lahore told Reuters.

One protester died, a police chief said on condition of anonymity. Video showed some protesters beating and dragging police and pedestrians, which government adviser Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi condemned. He told Reuters the law would take its course against those responsible.

The group blocked one of the main roads into the capital late last year and called off their protest only after the government signed a deal with them, agreeing to endorse a boycott of French products.

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