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Pakistan orders TV channels to go off air during crackdown on Islamist protest

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani authorities ordered private television channels to go off air on Saturday during a police and paramilitary crackdown on Islamist protesters in the capital.

The suspension was ordered by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority for violating media regulations showing live coverage of a security operation, a statement from the regulator said. State-run Pakistan Television continued to broadcast, but aired a talk show discussing politics.

Pakistani police used tear gas and watercannon and fought running battles with stone-throwing Islamist activists, as they moved to clear a protest by the religious hard-liners who have blocked main routes into Islamabad for more than two weeks.

Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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