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Party officials: Imran Khan arrested in court in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Officials from the party of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan say he has been arrested as he appeared in a court in the capital, Islamabad, to face charges in multiple graft cases.

Fawad Chaudhry, a senior official with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party said the 72-year-old Khan was arrested on Tuesday on the premises of the court by agents from the country’s anti-corruption body, the National Accountability Bureau.

Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote in April last year. He has claimed his ouster was illegal and a Western conspiracy and has campaigned against the government of his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, demanding early elections.

Chaudhry said Khan was dragged out of the court and into a police vehicle. He said the former premier is now in the custody of the security forces. He denounced the arrest as “an abduction.”

Pakistan’s independent GEO TV broadcast images of Khan being pulled by security forces towards an armored vehicle, which took him away.

Khan’s party immediately complained to the Islamabad High Court, which requested a police report explaining the charges for Khan’s arrest.

Officials from the anti-corruption body said that Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau had issued arrest warrants for Khan last week in a separate graft case, for which he had not obtained bail — something that would protect him from arrest under the country’s laws.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Khan will be brought to appear before an anti-graft tribunal later on Tuesday.