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Pull out of Iraq, hardline Muslims warn US

Hardline Muslims have said they would stage a massive rally in Jakarta to demand that the US pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 16:55 IST

Hardline Muslims have said they would stage a massive rally in the Indonesian capital on Sunday, to demand that the United States pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hizbut Tahrir, a hardline group that campaigns for an Islamic state in Indonesia, said on Saturday it expects thousands of people to turn out for the rally in front of the U.S. mission.

"The United States must leave Iraq and Afghanistan and let the Muslim countries decide their course of life by themselves. That's true democracy," said Muhammad Ismail Yusanto, one of the organizers, adding that Washington is "the source of all the world's problems."

Though Hizbut Tahrir has a reputation for holding large but peaceful protests, the U.S. Embassy noted that recent demonstrations in the world's most populous Muslim nation have turned violent.

One of the hardline groups expected to attend Sunday's demonstration is the Islamic Defender Front, which attacked the embassy last month with sticks and stones during a protest over the publication of Prophet Muhammad cartoons.

This move has prompted the U.S. Embassy to issue a warning to its citizens.

In a statement, it has urged US citizens to avoid crowds, maintain a low profile and "to exercise caution if caught in the vicinity of any demonstrations."

First Published: Mar 04, 2006 12:56 IST