Pakistan blocks anti-US protest in tribal region

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Associated Press

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 7 at 11:33 AM

TANK, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan's military has blocked a convoy of thousands of people from entering a lawless tribal region along the border with Afghanistan to protest American drone strikes.

The group was turned back just miles from the border of South Waziristan. Most of the demonstrators are Pakistanis, but there was also a small contingent of U.S. anti-war activists.

The protesters were led by Imran Khan, a former Pakistani cricket star who is now a politician. After an hour of negotiations with the military, he announced that the caravan would backtrack to a city about nine miles away.

In a speech there, he said the message to the United States is, "The more you carry out drone attacks, the more people will hate you."

About three dozen Americans from the anti-war group CODEPINK were part of the march. They say the drone strikes have terrorized peaceful tribes living along the border and have killed many innocent civilians.

The U.S. says the drone strikes are a necessary weapon against militants that Pakistan has been unable or unwilling to control.

The Taliban had threatened to attack the march. The group sees the protest leader as a "slave of the West."

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127-r-15-(Sound of Pakistani politician Imran Khan (IHM'-rahn kahn), speaking in Urdu at protest rally)--Sound of Pakistani politician Imran Khan speaking in Urdu at a protest rally, warning Pakistan's top leaders that they should stop worshipping America. COURTESY: Geo TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (7 Oct 2012)

<<CUT *127 (10/07/12)>> 00:15

129-r-06-(Sound of protestors chanting, at rally of about 2,000 supporters of hardline political party)--Sound of protestors chanting against America and an independently-produced anti-Islam film at a rally of about 2,000 supporters of a hardline political party. (7 Oct 2012)

<<CUT *129 (10/07/12)>> 00:06

APPHOTO ISL106: American citizens, hold a banner during a peace march organized by Pakistan's cricket star turned politician Imran Khan's party, not pictured, in Tank, Pakistan, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. The Pakistani military blocked a convoy carrying thousands of Pakistanis and a small contingent of U.S. anti-war activists from entering a lawless tribal region along the border with Afghanistan on Sunday to protest American drone strikes. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hussain) (7 Oct 2012)

<<APPHOTO ISL106 (10/07/12)>>

APPHOTO ISL105: American citizens, attend a peace march organized by Pakistan's cricket star turned politician Imran Khan's party, not pictured, in Tank, Pakistan, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. The Pakistani military blocked a convoy carrying thousands of Pakistanis and a small contingent of U.S. anti-war activists from entering a lawless tribal region along the border with Afghanistan on Sunday to protest American drone strikes. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hussain) (7 Oct 2012)

<<APPHOTO ISL105 (10/07/12)>>

APPHOTO ISL104: Supporters Pakistan's cricket star turned politician Imran Khan's party, not pictured, raise their hands during a peace march on the outskirts of Tank, Pakistan, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. The Pakistani military blocked a convoy carrying thousands of Pakistanis and a small contingent of U.S. anti-war activists from entering a lawless tribal region along the border with Afghanistan on Sunday to protest American drone strikes. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hussain) (7 Oct 2012)

<<APPHOTO ISL104 (10/07/12)>>

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