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November 9, 2001
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Five dead as anti-US protests in Pakistan turn violent

Anti-US protests in Pakistan turned violent on Friday, as the police had to open fire to control a rampaging mob, which had blocked a highway and a railway line.

The firing killed five protesters, a senior police officer was quoted as saying in an agency report.

The same report quoting a police official in Dera Ghazi Khan district said 5,000 members of the radical Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam party, some armed with automatic rifles, stopped a prison van and set it alight, taking four policemen hostage.

Demonstrators then blocked the major Indus highway and nearby railway line where they forcibly stopped an express train.

The official said police opened fire to stop the demonstrators, and five protesters were killed and at least five others wounded.

He said four policemen were also injured and 'the situation remains very tense'.

Angry protesters took to the streets in almost every major city decrying the support extended by Pakistan to US-led strikes in Afghanistan at the behest of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Defence Council, comprising 35 religious parties.

Reports said traffic throughout the country remained thin and most of the shopping centres remained closed -- some due to the holiday and some because of the PADC strike.

Scattered violence was also reported in Karachi where police used tear gas to break up a crowd of demonstrators. Reports said that one person died when a teargas canister hit him.

Reports said thousands of troops were patrolling the streets of Karachi. Police and paramilitary troops were deployed outside the US consulate and other diplomatic missions in the southern port city.

In Peshawar, demonstrators threw stones at police, who responded with tear gas. Seven people were reportedly injured in the northern city near Afghanistan.

The strike coincided with the birth anniversary of Pakistan's national poet Muhammad Iqbal, that was declared a public holiday. All government and private offices and educational institutes stayed closed.

Related Report:
Musharraf warns radicals; 500 arrested

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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