Pakistanis Rail Against Deadly Strike
Date: Tuesday, January 17 2006
By RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press Writer
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Thousands of Pakistanis took to the streets Sunday to rage for a second day against a purported U.S. attack on a border village, chanting "Death to America" and demanding U.S. troops leave neighboring Afghanistan, as more details emerged about the airstrike.
Pakistani intelligence officials said the reported target, al-Qaida No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahri, had been invited to the attacked village for a dinner marking a Muslim festival on the night of the missile strike but he failed to show up.
With the government's alliance in the U.S.-led war on international terror groups already unpopular in this Muslim country, the deaths of at least 17 people in Friday's attack have stoked widespread anger.
Some 10,000 people demonstrated in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, chanting "Death to America" and "Stop bombing against innocent people." Hundreds also rallied in Islamabad, Lahore, Multan and Peshawar, burning U.S. flags.
Protesters demanded an end to the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, where loyalists of the ousted Taliban regime and other militants are battling an Afghan government supported by American and other foreign troops. Many insurgents are believed to use Pakistan's border region as a haven.