Anti-US Protests Resume in Pakistan

By T.C. Malhotra | July 7, 2008 | 8:10 PM EDT

New Delhi ( - Anti-American protests resumed in Pakistan Tuesday, with deadly results. At least three people reportedly were killed when police clashed with the demonstrators in Kuchlak, a town north of Quetta.

The protests followed a second consecutive night of US-led attacks on Taliban targets in Afghanistan.

The clash reportedly erupted when police blocked a crowed from entering Quetta.

Pro-Taliban organizations, including Jamaat-ulema-i-Islam, have promised a sustained campaign in support of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia and terrorist organizer, Osama bin Laden.

The Pakistan government, meanwhile, has arrested three pro-Taliban Islamic party leaders. Senior Jamaat-ulema-i-Islam (JUI) party leader Fazlur Rehman was detained in Dera Ismail Khan. Another JUI chief, Samiul Haq, was placed under house arrest in northwestern Akora Khattak, where he runs a prominent seminary. And Azam Tariq, head of the Sunni extremist group Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), has been confined to his home in Jhang, central Punjab.

On Monday thousands of pro-Taliban supporters rioted, torching cars and buildings in Lahore and Peshawar. The army was deployed to quell the violence even as police fired tear gas shells to disperse angry demonstrators.

Security Beefed Up at UN Offices in Pakistan

Also on Tuesday, Pakistan authorities tightened security at the UN relief agencies' offices in Quetta.

On Monday, an angry mob burned a UN vehicle and broke all the windows in the nearby offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UN has temporarily suspended all its relief efforts in Afghanistan.

Pakistan expressed deep regrets over the attacks against the offices of the UN relief organizations in Quetta.

"It is unfortunate that the UN agencies providing humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugees in Pakistan have been targeted," the foreign office spokesman said.

"To prevent the recurrence of incidents, the government has tightened security arrangements around the UN office in Quetta and other cities of Pakistan," he said.

Meanwhile, following the US-led attacks on Afghanistan, all educational institutions in Quetta and Balochistan have been closed for three days.

The secretary education confirmed that all the educational institutions of the province have been closed till further orders. "All the educational institutions either government or private are to be closed because of security reasons," Muhammad Shoaib, secretary education was quoted by press reports as saying.

"We want to prevent any untoward situation in the province." Shoaib said.

The university administration suspended electricity, gas and water supply to all the hostels and asked the students to go home until they hear that the universities have reopened.