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Pakistanis Protest U.S. Attacks in Afghanistan - 2001-10-12


Protesters in Karachi have fought a pitched battle with security forces, as Pakistani authorities brace for more protests across the country over U-S led military strikes in neighboring Afghanistan.

Karachi police used teargas today (Friday) to disperse demonstrators trying to damage banks and government offices. Witnesses say groups of youths threw stones at two restaurants operated by a U-S based fast food company (Kentucky Fried Chicken).

There were no confirmed reports on casualties. Police say they have arrested several people.

Security was tight at the U-S Consulate and other diplomatic offices as well as the airport, railway stations and the seaport in Karachi - which is Pakistan's commercial capital.

The violence occurred despite authorities detaining top Islamic leaders in order to prevent them from leading anti-U-S demonstrations.

Thursday, President Pervez Musharraf warned that extremist violence will not be tolerated and that Afghan refugees who engage in violence will be deported.

The government has deployed additional troops in cities throughout the country, including the most volatile regions of Quetta and Peshawar - both are on the border with Afghanistan and are home to large numbers of Afghan refugees.

Tensions are also high in the southern city of Jacobabad, where U-S support forces are reported to have been deployed to a Pakistani air base.

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