In Pakistan, protesters 'march' against US drones

By Zarar Khan

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 5 2012 11:40 p.m. MDT

Pakistanis and American citizens hold banners and chant slogans against drone attacks in Pakistani tribal belt, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. A group of American anti-war activists are in Pakistan with plans to join a “march” into the country’s tribal belt to protest U.S. drone strikes in the rugged northwest territory. Their presence has energized some Pakistanis, but it also has added to concerns that Islamist militants will target the weekend event.

Muhammed Muheisen, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

Hundreds of Pakistanis, joined by dozens of American activists, have launched a motorcade "march" against U.S. drone strikes that they hope will reach the militant-riddled Afghan border region.

The main faction of the Pakistani Taliban has denounced the protest, and it is unclear how far the protesters will get.

The march — in reality a long vehicle convoy — is being led by Imran Khan, the former cricket star-turned-politician.

It began Saturday morning in Islamabad and is intended to end in South Waziristan tribal region, a frequent target of drone-fired American missiles.

The American activists are from the U.S.-based anti-war group CODEPINK.

Drone strike opponents allege such attacks kill numerous innocent civilians and terrorize peaceful communities. U.S. officials have said the majority of those killed in the strikes are militants.

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