Pak protesters for punishing makers of anti-Islam film

Thousands of religious activists in Pakistan staged new demonstrations on Saturday against a US-made anti-Islam film, as the death toll from the previous day’s violent protests rose to 21.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sun 23 Sep 2012, 12:42 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:42 PM

More than 5,000 protesters marched towards the parliament in Islamabad, including hundreds of women, chanting “We love our Holy Prophet” and “Punishment for those who disrespected our Prophet” referring to the rogue American Christians behind the film.

Some 500 people from the hardline group Jamaat-ud-Dawa staged a protest in front of the US consulate in Lahore, chanting “The US deserves only one remedy — jihad, jihad”.

The protests were peaceful, in contrast to the previous day’s demonstrations.

Religious groups said they were also planning demonstrations in Karachi, the scene of the worst violence on Friday, after the funerals of some of those killed during the protests.

Protests against the blasphemous film have erupted across the Muslim world and tens of thousands took to the streets across Asia and the Middle East on Friday as Western missions closed amid fears of violence.

Anger has also been stoked by the publication in a French magazine of blasphemous cartoons of the Holy Prophet. On Friday the violence was worst with witnesses estimating that nationwide rallies mobilised more than 45,000, mainly members of right-wing religious parties and supporters of banned groups, although the numbers were still small in a country of 180 million.

Four more people died overnight from wounds they received during the protests, taking the number killed across Pakistan in the day of demonstrations to 21.

Fifteen people were killed in Karachi, the country’s largest city, and six in the northwestern city of Peshawar, health department officials said.

The combined total of wounded in Karachi, Peshawar and in the capital Islamabad was 229.

“The total death toll from the anti-Islam film protests reached 15 in Karachi as three more succumbed to their injuries overnight,” Sagheer Ahmed, provincial health minister in southern Sindh province, said.

Mukhtiar Khan, a senior doctor at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar said that one more person died from his wounds in hospital, taking the total killed in the city to six.

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