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Hundreds rally for bin Laden in Pakistan

world Updated: May 06, 2011 13:22 IST

AFP
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Hundreds of people took to the streets near the Pakistani city of Quetta on Friday to pay "homage" to al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and call for holy war against America, witnesses said.

The rally was organised by the pro-Taliban Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) political party in the Kuchlak suburb of the southwestern city, where the crowd shouted "Long Live Osama" and torched a US flag.

"Osama's services for Muslims will be remembered forever," said Abdul Qadir Looni, a senior JUI figure addressing the rally.

"He challenged the greatest Satan and usurper like America and awakened Muslims across the globe. This gathering pays tribute to him," Looni said.

Hafiz Fazal Bareach, a former federal senator and senior party leader, said the US killing of bin Laden would create thousands of others like him.

"One Osama has been martyred and now thousands of Osamas will be born, because he created a movement against anti-Muslim forces which is not dependent on personalities," Bareach said.

"America first martyred Osama and then desecrated his corpse," he said, vowing that "jihad (holy war) will continue against America and its allies."

Pakistan's largest religious political party Jamaat-e-Islami called for protests across the country on Friday to denounce the US operation that killed bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad earlier this week.

Friday is a traditional day of protest in the Muslim world, where demonstrations frequently take place after the main weekly prayers.

Pakistan on Thursday demanded that the United States cut its troop presence in the country to a "minimum" as the fallout from the raid intensified and threatened to review cooperation in the event of another similar operation.