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Pakistanis burn German flag in prison death protest

Written by: Staff
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MULTAN, Pakistan, May 6 (Reuters) Students from an Islamic seminary in central Pakistan protested on Saturday against the death of a Pakistani in a Berlin jail by burning German flags and vowing to continue his jihad or holy war.

Amir Cheema, 28, died in custody after he was arrested in Germany on March 20 on charges of attempting to kill the editor of a German newspaper, Die Welt, for reprinting cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad first published in Denmark last year.

Around 300 students of Jamiat Taliba Arabia, one of many seminaries run by Jamaat-i-Islami, a conservative Islamist political party, blocked traffic in the centre of Multan city, burned German flags and denounced Germany, Denmark and the United States as ''infidel states''.

The students chanted: ''They are enemies of Islam, infidels'' and ''Amir Cheema is hero of Islam''. They also called for the cartoonists to be hanged or handed over for punishment.

The first protest against the cartoons in Pakistan took place in Multan in February, and it was followed by bigger and more violent protests across the country, while in the northwestern city of Peshawar a Muslim preacher offered a bounty for the killing of cartoonists.

Cheema's death was raised by lawmakers in the National Assembly on Friday, and the issue will be debated in parliament.

''We are waiting for orders from the provincial and national leadership to decide the future course of action,'' Muhammad Basheer, leader of the procession in Multan, told Reuters.

REUTERS PM KN2205

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