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Pro-Taleban Unrest In Pakistan - 2001-10-29


Witnesses say a group of pro-Taleban Pakistanis have taken over government facilities in a remote part of northern Pakistan.

The armed rebels reportedly seized an airstrip and other facilities Sunday in the town of Chilas, about 350 kilometers northeast of Peshawar. Pakistani officials have not commented on the situation.

Other Taleban supporters are blocking a key Pakistani highway, stopping hundreds of vehicles and reportedly threatening to blow up any that try to force their way through. The protesters oppose Pakistan's support for the U-S-led military campaign in Afghanistan. The highway is northern Pakistan's main link to China.

The protesters oppose Pakistan's support for the U-S-led military campaign in Afghanistan. Pakistan provides logistical support to U-S forces striking against Afghanistan's ruling Taleban and the al-Qaida network of suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

In Islamabad, a radical Muslim party has threatened to stage a massive sit-down rally with the aim of forcing Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to resign.

Meanwhile, Pakistani authorities have sent police and army reinforcements to the city of Bahawalpur after an attack in a Christian church that killed up to 18 people Sunday.

In a separate attack, an explosion wrecked a bus in Quetta near the Afghan border, killing at least three passengers.

No one has claimed responsibility for either attack. But Pakistani officials say members of a banned Islamic group are under suspicion for the church massacre. It is not clear if the attacks were to protest Pakistan's support for the U-S-led war on terrorism.

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