Thousands of religious party supporters rally in Pakistan against bombing in Gaza


Tens of thousands of supporters from Pakistan’s main religious political party rallied in the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday against Israel’s bombing of Palestinians in Gaza and what it said is the world’s failure to protect Gazans.

Amid anti-Israeli and anti-American slogans the emotionally charged crowd also called for jihad, or holy war.

Earlier this month, Jamaat-e-Islami held massive rallies in the port city of Karachi and the capital, Islamabad.

Supporters, including women and children, marched for several kilometres to reach the location of the rally, holding banners and posters with slogans opposing Israel and the United States and in support of the Palestinians.

Senator Sirajul Haq, the JI chief, said the ongoing rallies in support of Palestinians around the world awaken world governments and give a voice to the innocent.

He said the resolutions and words issued by the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation will not work, and that Muslim rulers have to rise and to stop the hand of the aggressor.

Fake body bags are displayed in Lahore during a rally on Sunday organised by Pakistan’s main religious political party against Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. Photo: AP

Meanwhile, Pakistan security forces killed four militants in a shoot-out during an overnight raid in the country’s northwest near the border with Afghanistan, the military said Sunday.

A military statement said security forces conducted an intelligence-based operation in the Khaisoor area of North Waziristan district, where they exchanged fire with militants. It said troops seized weapons and ammunition from the militants’ hideout.

The military said one of the most wanted militant commanders, identified by single name of Ibrahim, was among the dead, all of whom were involved in attacks on security forces and civilians.

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Troops were carrying out sanitisation of the surrounding areas to eliminate any hiding militants, it said.

North Waziristan served for decades as a safe haven for militants until the military carried out a major operation after an attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in 2014 killed more than 150 people, mostly children.

The army announced after the years-long operation that it had cleared the region of militants, but attacks continue occasionally, raising concerns that the local Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, found sanctuaries in Afghanistan and are regrouping in the area.


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