Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thousands in Pakistan Rally Against U.S.

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of people took to the streets across Pakistan on Friday in protest against a US drone strike that killed 45 people on Thursday and the release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis who had killed two young men in Lahore in January.

Security was tight and the US embassy in Islamabad and its consulates in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar were closed in anticipation of public anger, but fears of violence proved unfounded with fewer demonstrators than expected.

Protest rallies organised by major religious parties and groups, Tehrik-i-Insaaf and civil society organisations were held in all major cities and towns of the four provinces.

The protesters chanted “Friends of the US are traitors” and “Down with America” and burned US flags.

In Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan agency where recent drone attacks have been concentrated, more than 1,000 tribesmen called for an immediate end to drone strikes and compensation to victims’ families.

They shouted “Death to America” and “Recall our ambassador to America”, while local cleric Maulvi Mohammad Rooman, who led the rally, condemned the latest drone attack, calling it “intolerable”

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