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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Thousands Pakistani tribesmen condemn 'American air strike'

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan 14, IRNA
Pakistan-US Strike Protest
Thousands of people took part in a biggest rally on Saturday and condemned air strike by an American plane in the Pakistani remote tribal region, which had killed 18 people.

American TV channels have reported that Ayman al-Zawahiri -- Osama bin Laden's deputy-- was the target of a CIA air strike Friday in Pakistan Bajur tribal region and may have been among those killed.

Americans have killed innocent women and children and are now diverting attention of the world from this cruel act though baseless claim that al-Qaeda leaders were targeted, Sahibzada Haroon ur Rashid, a lawmaker from a the Jamaat-e-Islami party told the protest rally.

This is in fact real terrorism to target innocent people, the children and the women, Rashid said. He rejected the U.S TV reports that Ayman al-Zawahiri or any foreigner was in the area.

Hundreds of people took part to pull dead bodies out of the rubble soon after the air strike and the people did not see any foreigner killed in the attack, the law maker told the huge rally.

He said the issue of the attack will also be raised in the parliament and that he has sent a motion to the National Assembly, of which he is a member.

The rally participants were chanting slogans against the U.S sir strike and also against the Pakistani government.

Rashid also criticized President Musharraf's policies and said that his policies have led to occurrence of such attacks.

He said the people in the area are very angry at the statements by the military spokesman and Information Minister that deaths caused by explosions.

He added that U.S spy planes were flying over the area for a few days but the government did not take note of it.

He asked the government to strongly react to the American bombing.

Pakistan Information Minister Sheikh Rashid has not confirmed U.S TV reports that Ayman al-Zawahiri may have died in the attack.

He said the investigation into the report is underway to check whether or not the al-Qaeda man has died.

He said an official statement about the issue will soon be issued.

2020/235/1771



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