Pakistan: Islamic leaders arrested before rally

February 19, 2006 05:24


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Pakistani police on Sunday raided offices and homes of dozens of radical Islamic leaders, putting several under house arrest and detaining hundreds of their associates in a bid to foil a rally in the capital, officials said. Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the chief of a six-party coalition was placed under house arrest in the eastern city of Lahore, while other senior leaders were either arrested or asked not to leave their homes in Islamabad, where the rally was to be held. Mian Maqsood, a spokesman for the coalition said "hundreds" had been arrested, although Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said only about two dozens Islamic leaders had been detained to stop the latest protest against the publication of Prophet Muhammad cartoons in Europe and elsewhere.

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