Saturday, September 22, 2012

23 Killed in Anti-US Demonstrations Across Pakistan

Death toll from anti-US protests in Pakistan hits 23

Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:10PM GMT

The death toll from Pakistan's protests against a US-made anti-Islam film and sacrilegious cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in France has risen to 23, Press TV reports.

Clashes broke out between enraged protesters and security forces in at least five Pakistani cities on Friday, with police firing tear gas and live rounds to disperse the crowds.

Hundereds of people were also wounded in the violence.

In the capital Islamabad, protesters marched towards the capital’s diplomatic headquarters, demanding the expulsion of the US and French ambassadors to the country.

Thousands more marched on US consulates in the cities of Lahore and Karachi.

In the northwestern city of Peshawar, protesters set two cinemas on fire and attacked several other buildings.

The Muslim world has been boiling with anti-Western sentiments over the past week over a US-made film entitled “Innocence of Muslims” that insults Islam’s holiest figure and attempts to depict Islam as an oppressive religion.

On September 19, French weekly Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in yet another proof of the West’s Islamophobia campaign.

On Thursday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed “shock” and “dismay” at the sacrilegious cartoons, warning that the move would "further exacerbate the ongoing turmoil and violence created by the release of the anti-Islam film."

OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu further urged the international community to take "serious note of the dangerous implications of hate speech and inciting publications and come out of hiding behind the excuse of freedom of expression.”

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Indo-Asian News Service
Islamabad, September 22, 2012

Pakistan calm a day after anti-film protests

Pakistan limped back to normalcy on Saturday, a day after blood clashes left 23 people dead and 200 others wounded following fierce protests over an anti-Islam film.

Protests took place across the country Friday against the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims" that has triggered angry demonstrations around the world. Clashes took place as the country observed Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool (love of Prophet Mohammad day).

Karachi bore a deserted look Saturday morning. The port city had seen violence Friday that left at least 12 people dead.

Other cities resumed normalcy, Geo News reported.

There was thin traffic in Karachi while the routes leading to the US consulate were still blocked. Hotels and shops were also closed.

Business activities resumed in other cities across the country including Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar.

Though blockades were removed from the routes leading to the US Consulate in Lahore, tight security was in place around the US Consulate in Peshawar.

Dawn reported that at least 23 people were killed and over 200 injured and violence in some places which continued till late in the night.

Tens of thousands of protestors were on the streets in several cities, from Peshawar and Islamabad to Lahore and Karachi. They burnt down shops, set ablaze cinema houses and torched police vehicles.

Describing it as a day of complete anarchy in several cities, the daily said the protests left a trail of death and destruction in large parts of the country.

5 killed, several injured in US terror drone strike in Pakistan

Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:4AM GMT

At least five people have been killed and several others wounded in a US assassination drone attack in Pakistan’s tribal area of North Waziristan.

The attack took place in the Datta Khel area on Saturday when American terror drones targeted a vehicle with two missiles.

The strike comes as Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is in the United States for an official visit.

Pakistani tribal regions are the target of US terror drones, with Washington claiming that its unmanned aircraft are targeting militants. However, casualty figures clearly indicate that Pakistani civilians are the main victims of the assaults.

The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, in the strikes has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington, prompting Pakistani officials to send warnings to the US administration over the assaults.

Despite Pakistani government’s repeated calls on Washington to end the drone attacks, the US government continues its strikes on the tribal regions of the country.

US terror drone attacks in Pakistan have increased during the administration of US President Barack Obama.

The drone strikes have triggered massive anti-US demonstrations across Pakistan to condemn the United States’ violations of their national sovereignty.

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