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Pakistan orders probe into death of activist during clashes

February 4, 2019
People walk past shops closed due to strike to condemn the death of a prominent Pashtun rights activist, in Quetta, Pakistan, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. Pakistan has ordered an investigation into the death of prominent Pashtun rights activist Arman Loni following a weekend sit-in that dissolved into clashes with police. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan has ordered an investigation into the death of a prominent Pashtun rights activist following a weekend sit-in that dissolved into clashes with police.

Friends and family of Arman Loni accuse the police of intentionally targeting and killing him. Loni was a leader in the Pashtun Protection Movement, which campaigns against perceived high-handedness by the security forces against the Pashtun minority.

He died on Saturday after clashes erupted at the sit-in in the town of Loralai in Baluchistan province. Police and doctors say he died of a heart attack.

The government didn’t elaborate on why an investigation was ordered.

In Quetta, the Baluchistan provincial capital, a partial strike started Monday with most shops closing to denounce Loni’s death.

Pashtuns make up about 15 percent of Pakistan’s population of 220 million.

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