South Asia News
Armed supporters of mosque militants block old Silk Route (Extra)
Jul 10, 2007, 8:31 GMT
Islamabad - Hundreds of armed supporters of the militants in the besieged Red Mosque blocked the Himalayan Karakorum Highway linking to China in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province Tuesday, officials said.
'Dozens of armed men have taken positions on the mountains along the Silk Route near Batagram, while hundreds of students from Islamic seminary have blocked the highway,' police assistant sub-inspector Attiq-ur-Rehman told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
He said the students were enraged over several deaths in the military attack on the mosque in Islamabad to end a week-long standoff, which began when student zealots attacked a police post last Tuesday.
Red Mosque militants have received some support from extremist groups in the country, although public sentiment in general remained against them.
Around 20,000 tribesmen, many armed with rocket launchers and automatic weapons in the tribal Bajaur region bordering Afghanistan, protested against the siege of the mosque on Monday, burning effigies of President Musharraf.
Several leaders of local Taliban militia also joined the rally, where speakers warned they would declare jihad on the government if it continued the siege on the mosque.
Suspected supporters of Red Mosque militants gunned down three Chinese nationals in Monday night in the provincial capital Peshawar.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur