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October 9, 2001
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Six killed in anti-US rallies in Pakistan

Muhammad Najeeb in Islamabad

Six people were killed and several others injured on Tuesday as violent demonstrations continued in cities across Pakistan for the second successive day to protest US strikes against Afghanistan.

Two people were killed in demonstrations on Monday.

Five persons were killed, when police opened fire on protestors in Quetta, who were attempting to advance on the city's airport.

One person was killed in a stampede when the police baton-charged and tear-gassed demonstrators in the tribal areas adjoining Afghanistan.

"Police had to resort to firing in retaliation after someone from the crowd opened fire," an unidentified magistrate in Quetta was quoted by SANA news agency as saying.

He said that five policemen were injured in the firing from the crowd. The agency said that 37 people had been arrested.

"Islam is united and cannot be defeated," the protestors shouted as they marched towards the airport.

Reports said the airport is being used by US and the allied forces, though President Pervez Musharraf has denied that such facilities have been provided anywhere in Pakistan.

Incensed at the sight of fighter jets flying high overhead -- apparently on their way to attack targets near the Taleban stronghold of Kandahar, some 180 km from Quetta, the demonstrators torched a police station, a shop and three vehicles.

Protestors had torched cinemas, a fire station, a shopping plaza, a building housing offices of the United Nations Children's Fund and a police van in Quetta on Monday.

In Rawalpindi, thousands of highly-charged students thronged the streets to protest the US attacks on Afghanistan. Anger and resentment was writ large on their faces as they chanted anti-US slogans.

A large number of police and army personnel were on hand to prevent any trouble.

Addressing the demonstrators, local religious leaders stressed on unity among all Muslims so that 'nasty plan of the diabolic forces could be squarely foiled'.

They warned the United States against victimising the Taleban by blaming it for the terror strikes in the US. They claimed that Osama bin Laden or the Taleban had nothing to do with the attacks, which had been masterminded by the Jews to pit Muslims against Christians.

Indo-Asian News Service

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

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