At least 3 patients were killed after scores of lawyers clad in business suits besieged a hospital in Pakistan, storming the building and attacking staff and patients alike. The crowd was eventually dispersed by police tear gas.
The angry mob descended upon the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore on Wednesday, attacking just about everyone in sight as the lawyers ransacked hospital wards, which forced staff to leave patients unattended, some in critical condition.
The number killed in the brawl could increase from the three officially acknowledged casualties – with Pakistan’s Young Doctors Association claiming that up to 12 people might have lost their lives.
Dramatic footage of the assault appeared on social media, showing a sizable crowd of men dressed in suits and ties as they neared the walls of the hospital, with scuffles breaking out as bystanders attempted to stop the group.
While it remains unclear exactly what sparked such a massive unrest, some reports alleged the furious protest was triggered by a viral video that featured a doctor “ridiculing” a lawyer who demanded priority treatment.
At least one car was set ablaze, while one sharply-dressed man can be seen in footage drawing a handgun and intimidating passersby.
Other videos showed hospital staff pelting the assailants with stones from the roof as the lawyers attempt to storm the building.
Information and culture minister for Punjab, Fayyaz Chohan, was also caught up in the skirmish as he seemingly tried to calm the situation. Police eventually quelled the violence, firing tear gas into the crowd.
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