AlJazeera.net, 17 January - Hundreds of people have rallied in a Pakistani town against an army air raid on a suspected al-Qaeda hide-out, claiming it killed innocents, witnesses said.
About 1,000 supporters of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) party marched through Tank, a city about 160 km north of the scene of Tuesday's attack in southern
Activists of the JUI, a pro-Taliban group in the provincial government, shouted "Jihad [struggle]" during the protest, and chanted slogans condemning
The Pakistani army has said the raid killed eight fighters.
"They killed innocent labourers. There were no foreigners or [militant] training centres," witnesses quoted Maulana Tahir, the leader of the rally, as saying.
"Pakistani newspapers have carried the sentiments of the government, who said that it carried out the attack, and the sentiments of the people on the street, who believe that the Americans had a hand in this one as well"
Al Jazeera correspondent in
In a separate incident, about 200 college students blocked a road that links Tank with Wana, the main town in southern
In the eastern city of
Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in
"Mahsud said he wanted to invite us to the area to prove to us that [those killed] were innocent civilians," Hyder said.
Hyder also said that the Pakistani media was doubtful about the Pakistani army's line on the attack.
Although the Pakistani army insists it carried out the raid on the suspected al-Qaeda base, many Pakistani civilians believe the
"Pakistani newspapers have reacted strongly but have carried both sentiments - the sentiments of the government, who said that it carried out the attack, and the sentiments of the people on the street, who believe that the Americans had a hand in this one as well," Hyder said.
Musharraf has made