Pakistanis pay tribute to bin Laden

2012-05-02 22:47

Quetta - Hundreds of Islamists rallied in Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta Wednesday to pay tribute to al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden on the first anniversary of his death, witnesses said.

More than 500 activists from the pro-Taliban Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam religious political party gathered in the city's central Mezan square. They were carrying bin Laden posters, shouting "Long Live Osama" and torched a US flag, an AFP reporter said.

"Osama was a hero of the whole Muslim world, he was the real Mujahid [holy warrior]," Abdul Qadir Looni, a party leader said while addressing the rally.

"Today we gathered to pay tribute to him. He will be remembered forever in our hearts."

The demonstrators also prayed for Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

Bin Laden, the al-Qaeda founder and 9/11 attacks mastermind, was killed on May 2 last year in a secret US Navy SEAL operation in a walled-off compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.

Pakistan went on high alert on Wednesday over fears militants would launch revenge attacks, but no major incidents took place.

Washington and Islamabad are now working to repair their relationship, which was badly damaged by the revelation that the world's most wanted man was living a stone's throw from Pakistan's elite military academy.

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