Pakistani police clash with protesters

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Islamabad, Sep 29: Pakistani police clashed with opposition protesters outside the Election Commission today shortly after Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz arrived to support his nomination of President Pervez Musharraf's bid for re-election.

The Supreme Court dismissed challenges to military ruler Musharraf's bid to seek re-election yesterday, clearing a major hurdle for the army chief's expected victory in an October 6 vote.

The Election Commission was today due to scrutinise nomination papers of Musharraf and 42 other candidates who filed papers this week.

Police fired tear gas and used batons to break up a group of lawyers and opposition activists who tried to marched from the Supreme Court, across an avenue, to the Election Commission, a witness said.

One lawyer was seen with a bloody head before the protestes dispersed, the witness said.

Despite yesterday's ruling, nuclear-armed Pakistan faces months of uncertainty as Musharraf faces fresh objections to his bid to control a country whose support is seen as crucial to the success of Western efforts to stabilise Afghanistan and battle al Qaeda.

Reuters>

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